FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D.
BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO
THE LIBRARY OF
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
32. GAY STREET
/- y s *r
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Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Princeton Theological Seminary Library
/ ■ ■ , , ■
, /.l^r Edition.
An edition of The Sabbath Harp, upon a
smaller scale, having met with a favourable recep-
tion, the Compiler has been induced to enlarge the
Collection, and to offer another Edition to the
Public. His object has been to furnish the devout,
and particularly the young, Christian with a manual
of Sacred Poetry in an inviting and somewhat novel
form, comprising the most devotional strains of
both the Lyric and the Epic Muse of Zion. He
has further had in view the honour of that divine
Institution, which, by peculiarly devoting to God a
seventh portion of our days, has a direct tendency
to consecrate the entire of life to His glory, and so
to mature the soul for the occupations of that
eternal rest which remaineth for the people of
God. A few original pieces, of the humblest order,
are interspersed : they may at least serve, if no
higher purpose, as a foil to the excellence of
Poetry is the handmaid of Religion. Her hal-
lowed ministry is conspicuous throughout the
volume of Scripture, where all the beauties and
sublimities of creation lend their lovely or their
awful images to the pen of Inspiration. The
Compiler is, however, anxious to guard the young,
the ardent, and the accomplished against an evil., as
subtle and pernicious as it is common : the evil
he refers to, is the tendency of the modern systems
of education to confound a relish for the pleasures
of imagination with a taste for the enjoyments of
religion. " The religion of taste is one thing.
The religion of conscience is another." It is not
in the melody of the harp, or of poesy, to elevate the
natural mind to God, or to satisfy Him who looketh
at the heart. An elegant and highly cultivated
taste may give us a capacity for enjoying, what
may be said to constitute the very essence of
p 0e t r y—.a mental fellowship with all the forms of
matter and all the attributes of mind. It is only
the infusion of a divine principle which can gene-
rate a taste for that communion with God, through
Jesus Christ our Lord, without which our pro-
fession is hypocrisy, and our devotion formality.
May the blessing of the Holy Spirit attend this
little volume; and may all its readers be conducted
by the Saviour to that promised region where an
everlasting Sabbath reigns, and where every harp of
the multitude, that no man can number, is attuned
to one song, and that song for ever new — Worthy
Supreme delights, unceasing transports dwell,
Celestial Harp! upon thy trembling strings;
Seraphic forms bend listening to thy swell,
And cherubs hover round on burning wings —
And Hope divine her glittering radiance flings,
In heavenly hues, investing all around ;
Dejection pale, bold into action springs,
Her feeble loins with Faith's strong girdle bound,
While cowardly Despair flies far the hallow M ground.
Then wake ! O wake ! with energy divine,
Till this cold heart with heavenly ardour glow,
Till light, and love, and holy joy benign,
Prevail o'er distance, darkness, doubt, and woe.
THE FIRST SABBATH,
THE FIRST SABBATH.
Six days the Heavenly Host, in circle vast,
Like that untouching cincture which enzones
The globe of Saturn, compassed wide this orb,
And with the forming mass floated along,
In rapid course, through yet untravelled space,
Beholding God's stupendous power, — a world
Bursting from Chaos at th' Omnific Will,
And perfect, ere the sixth day's evening-star
On Paradise arose. Blessed that eve,
The Sabbath's harbinger, when, all complete,
In freshest beauty from Jehovah's hand,
Creation bloomed; when Eden's twilight face
Smiled like a sleeping babe ! The voice divine
A holy calm breathed o'er the goodly work :
Mildly the Sun, upon the loftiest trees,
Shed mellowly a sloping beam. Peace reigned,
And love, and gratitude ; the human pair
Their orisons poured forth 3 love, concord, reigned^
The falcon perched upon the blooming bough
With Philomela, listened to her lay ;
Among the antlered herd, the tiger couched
Harmless ; the lion's mane no terror spread
THE FIRST SABBATH. O
Among the careless ruminating flock.
Silence was o'er the deep : the noiseless surge,
The last subsiding wave, — of that dread tumult
Which raged, when Ocean, at the mute command,
Rushed furiously into his new-cleft bed, —
Was gently rippling on the pebbled shore;
While on the swell, the sea-bird, with her head
Wing-veiled, slept tranquilly. The Host of Heaven,
Entranced in new delight, speechless adored ;
Nor stopped their fleet career, nor changed their form
Encircular, till on that hemisphere, —
In which the blissful garden sweet exhaled
Its incense, odorous clouds, — the Sabbath-dawn
Arose ; then wide the flying circle sped,
And soared, in semblance of a mighty rainbow.
Silent ascend the choirs of Seraphim ;
No harp resounds ; mute is each voice : the burst
Of joy and praise reluctant they repress, —
For love and concord all things so attuned
To harmony, that Earth must have received
The grand vibration, and to the centre shook ;
But soon as to the starry altitudes
They reached, then what a storm of sound, tremen-
Swelled through the realms of space ! The morning-
Together sang, and all the Sons of God
4 THE FIRST SABBATH.
Shouted for joy ! Loud was the peal; so loud,
As would have quite o'erwhelmed the human sense ;
But to the Earth it came a gentle strain,
Like softest fall breathed from JEolian lute,
When 'mid the chords the evening-gale expires.
Day of the Lord ! creation's hallowed close !
Day of the Lord ! (prophetical they sang)
Benignant mitigation of that doom
Which must ere long consign the fallen race,
Dwellers in yonder star, to toil and woe !
And now on Earth the seventh
Evening arose in Eden, for the sun
Was set, and twilight from the east came on,
Forerunning night ; when at the holy mount
Of Heav'ns high-seated top, the imperial throne
Of Godhead, fixed for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down
With his great Father ; for he also went
Invisible, yet staid, (such privilege
Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordained,
Author and End of all things ; and, from work
Now resting, blessed and hallowed the seventh day.
As resting on that day from all his work,
THE FIRST SABBATH. O
But not in silence holy kept ; the harp
Had work and rested not ; the solemn pipe,
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Tempered soft tunings, intermixed with voice
Choral or unison : of incense clouds,
Fuming from golden censers, hid the mount.
Creation and the six days acts they sing :
" Great are thy works, Jehovah ! infinite
Thy power ! What thought can measure thee, or
Relate thee ! Greater now in thy return
Than from the giant Angels : Thee that day
Thy thunders magnified ; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy."
So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With hallelujahs : thus was Sabbath kept.
The high Creator had his six days works
In man completed, man the crown of all ;
Gracious, his seventh, th> approving Architect —
Not with that dread solemnity with which
On thundering Sinai he promulged his law
In majesty of terror, — view'd the plan
6 THE FIRST SABBATH.
All beauteous, and his hallowed rest ordained.
When our new parents on His Sabbath's morn
Existence, with devotion's acts, began :
And eucharistic sacrifice first paid
To their kind Former. Then the morning stars,
Bright, eldest servants of th' empyreal courts,
Together sang, and with symphonious shout
From all his worlds, the Sons of God rejoiced.
O what a Sabbath that of heavenliest bliss !
Angels, and man, and earth, and God with man
Inharmoniz'd ; the only such perhaps
By unfallen Adam known, elaps'd so soon :
Such the redeemed, eternal, yet shall know.
But this, soon darken'd by our first offence^
Long since the risen Saviour hath annulled —
Lord of the Sabbath, though the son of man —
That, soiled, exchanging for his brighter day.
The primal Sabbath !— The Creator's rest,
And man's repose upon his Maker's breast.
No sigh was wafted on its morning breeze
From aching breasts, or couches of disease.
Its noon-tide ray beheld no scene of guilt :
No brother's life-blood by a brother spilt :
THE FIRST SABBATH.
No idol scowling on his crouching slave,
Deaf to his prayer, and powerless to save :
No heart unconscious of its Father's claim :
No cheek discolour'd by enkindled shame.
No sorrow veil'd in gloom the new-born pair : —
Man was creation's glory, and its heir.
Light within light, he drank at life's clear fount,
And walked with God on Eden's cloudless mount :
Himself the image of the God of love,
As the still lake reflects the heaven above.
His soul, attuned to highest minstrelsy,
Caught the calm i breathings of eternity,'
And echoed backward from the shores of time
Harmonious harpings from the ethereal clime.
Angels and man their blended praises sang,
And heav'n and earth with Hallelujah's rang.
That Evening ! — as it drew its curtains round,
No shade-inviting deeds of darkness found :
No machination, whispered on the gale,
Fell on the ear, and turned the list'ner pale :
No bleeding bosom hailed the close of day,
Or sought to dream its agonies away.
Himself full-bless'd, and with a heart to bless,
Enraptured by surrounding loveliness,
Man, with his social peer, employed the hour
In meditation on supernal power —
8 THE FIRST SABBATH,
On wisdom infinite — on love supreme —
These were his lofty song, or silent theme.
He watch'd the twilight fading into night :
The young moon gliding in her car of light : —
He saw, with more than telescopic sight,
Myriads of lamps, the suns of myriad spheres,
Glow in the new-spread firmament. His ears,
Their sense not deafenM yet by sin and woe,
Heard the unearthly melodies that flow
Softly harmonious from sphere to sphere :—
Worlds free of guilt, unsullied by a tear.
He slept, enveloped in night's sable vest :
No inward foe, nor outward to molest ;
And, while deep shadows mantled round the pole,
Visions of glory occupied his soul.
One lovely motive governed Adam then
In all he did, and said, and felt, and thought —
His Maker's glory in the good of man.
His eye, the crystal window of his soul,
Which light conveyed to his in-dwelling powers,
Surveyed not objects round him or above
Only to know ; but in them to explore
Fresh cause to praise the Lord, who made them all ;
THE FIRST SABBATH. 9
And in each spiral blade, that help'd to weave
Fair Eden's carpet, could Jehovah's pow'r
And wisdom read, as plain as in the stars,
The night-illuming moon, or brighter sun.
Thus love to God, by love divine produced,
Diffus'd through Paradise a constant spring ;
And ev'ry opening flow'r, as from the ground
Its verdant head it reared, would point the man
At once to his Creator. O, how sweet
Th' enjoyment of the senses then! His willing ear
If ever down the skies the heavenly hosts,
On gracious errands sent, their Maker's praise
Sang in celestial strains ; quick to his heart,
With rapture filPd, convey'd the welcome sound ;
His heart re-echo'd in a sweet response,
The grateful harmony.
What solid pleasure then must man enjoy
In contemplation of those worlds of light,
Which round creation's splendid centre roll,
Or grace her distant borders in fixt orbs !
At sight of these, his pious soul must feel
A gust of joy, to read Jehovah's name
Omnipotent, in lines indelible,
Written through all the boundless tracts of space.
Turn where he might, all round was paradise;
Verdure, and bloom, and beauty met his eye
In rich profusion ; — yet with order strict
10 THE FIRST SABBATH.
So perfectly arrang'd, that every tree,
And flow'r, and shrub, though in itself complete f
Seem'd to receive a grace from all the rest.
Then every object gave devotion wings,
And each display of goodness infinite
Would cause his voice to rise in thankful strains
To him who planted Eden's blissful bow'r.
Then gratitude a double relish gave
To good of every kind ; and then to rule
Was not to man more sweet, than to obey.
Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled
Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand
First wheeled their course : Earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovely smiled.
THE SABBATH EVE. 11
THE SABBATH EVE.
Six days has man in duteous toil employed :
His sum assignM. And now the Eve appears,
Prelude to sweetest hours of holier rest ;
Kind respite, in the round of weekly time,
For travell'd dust to call it's labourer home,
The partner mind ; to steal her from the throng
Of loud intruders, charg'd with worldly schemes ;
And strike a partial truce with mortal care :
To cleanse her soils, adjust her decent dress,
And mould her, in composure fit, to wait
Her call ; when she, on audience, soon shall meet
In his full court, the universal King :
The chamber, for the milder presence, fix'd
Of condescending Deity. So went
Th' obedient Sire his dear devoted Son
Consorting up the appointed mount of God,
And, inly tended, with exclusion meet,
At distance, left below his servile train.
12 THE SABBATH EVE,
Safely through another week,
God has brought us on our way ;
Let us now a blessing seek
On th> approaching Sabbath-day :
Day of all the week the best,
Emblem of eternal rest.
Mercies, multiplied each hour
Through the week, our praise demand;
Guarded by Almighty pow'r,
Fed and guided by his hand :
Tho* ungrateful we have been,
Only made returns of sin.
While we pray for pardoning grace,
Thro' the dear Redeemer's name,
Shew thy reconciled face,
Shine away our sin and shame :
From our w T orldly care set free,
May we rest this night with thee.
When the morn shall bid us rise,
May we feel thy presence near !
May thy glory meet our eyes
When we in thy house appear !
There afford us, Lord, a taste
Of our everlasting feast.
THE SABBATH EVE. 13
May the GospePs joyful sound,
Conquer sinners, comfort saints ;
Make the fruits of grace abound,
Bring relief for all complaints :
Such may all our Sabbaths prove,
Till we join the church above !
The week is past, the Sabbath dawn comes on :
Rest — rest in peace — thy daily toil is done ;
And standing, as thou standest, on the brink
Of a new scene of being, calmly think
Of what is gone, is now, and soon shall be —
As one that trembles on eternity.
For sure as this now closing week is past,
So sure advancing Time will close thy last ;
Sure as to-morrow, shall the awful light
Of the eternal morning hail thy sight.
Spirit of Good ! on this week's verge T stand,
Tracing the guiding influence of thy hand ;
That hand which leads me gently, kindly, still
Up life's dark, stony, tiresome, thorny hill :
Thou, thou in every storm hast sheltered me
Beneath the wing of thy benignity; —
14 THE SABBATH EVE.
A thousand graves my footsteps circumvent,
And I exist — thy mercy's monument !
A thousand writhe upon the bed of pain —
I live — and pleasure flows through ev'ry vein.
Want o'er a thousand wretches waves her wand —
I, circled by ten thousand mercies, stand.
How can I praise thee, Father ! how express
My debt of reverence, and of thankfulness ?
A debt that no intelligence can count,
While every moment swells its vast amount.
For the week's duties Thou hast given me strength,
And brought me to its tranquil close at length ;
And here my grateful bosom fain would raise
A fresh memorial to thy glorious praise.
Our weeks, how quickly by they roll ! —
And let them roll — our bark is driven
Safe to its harbour — and our soul
Awaking, shall awake in heaven.
THE SABBATH. 15
When God from dust created man,
Six days beheld the growing plan,
Six days his power confess'd ;
The seventh, in festal joy arrayed,
His perfect work, well-pleased, surveyed
The Almighty Sire, and blessM.
And mindful of that solemn day,
His grateful sons their homage pay
Before the eternal throne *,
With hymns of praise and pious prayer,
His everlasting rest declare,
And. joyful, wait their own.
For not in vain by twilight here,
With many a doubt, and many a fear,
Our pilgrim path we tread ;
A little learn, a little do,
Observe, discover, hope, pursue, —
And mingle with the dead,
16 THE SABBATH.
Beyond the dark and stormy bound
That guards our dull horizon round,
A lovelier vale extends ;
Messiah rules in mercy there,
And o'er his Altar, bright in air,
The morning-star ascends.
O ! holy seat of Love and Peace !
The sounds of war and conflict cease
Within thy quiet reign ;
And every flower of fairest hue,
That once in favoured Eden grew,
Shall rise and bloom again.
For thee the early Patriarch sighed,
Thy distant glory faint descried,
And hailed the blest abode ;
A stranger here, he sought a home,
Fix'd in a city yet to come,
The city of his God.
And oft by Siloa's haunted stream,
In heavenly trance, or holy dream,
To faithful Israel shown,
Triumphant over all her foes.
The true, the living Salem rose,
Jehovah's promised throne.
THE SABBATH. 17
Yet, yet, a few short hours must run,
And, God's unchanging purpose done,
TV immortal day shall dawn ;
Even now, on yonder mountains grey,
Methinks I see a wandering ray
Proclaim the approaching morn.
Come, Saviour, come ! Creator, Lord ,
Substantial Light, Eternal Word,
Thy chosen seed redeem !
Awake, as in the elder time,
And marshal all thy hosts sublime,
And bid thy banner stream !
And oh ! while yet we linger here,
With promised grace descend and cheer
Our doubtful path below ;
That, strong in faith, and warm in love,
With steady aim our feet may move,
Our grateful bosoms glow.
O day most calm, most bright,
The fruit of this, the next world's bud,
Th ? endorsement of supreme delight,
Writ by a friend, and with his blood ;
18 THE SABBATH.
The couch of time, care's balm and bay !
The week were dark, but for thy light:
Thy torch doth shew the way.
The other days and thou
Make up one man ; whose face thou art,
Knocking at Heaven with thy brow :
The workie-days are the back-part ;
The burthen of the week lies there,
Making the whole to stoop and bow,
Till thy release appear.
Man had straight forward gone
To endless death ; but thou dost pull
And turn us round to look on One,
Whom, if we were not very dull,
We could not choose to look on still ;
Since there is no place so lone,
The which he doth not fill.
Sundays the pillars are,
On which Heaven's palace arched lies :
The other days fill up the spare
And hollow room with vanities.
They are the fruitful beds and borders
Of God's rich garden : that is bare,
Which parts their ranks and orders.
THE SABBATH. 19
The Sundays of man's life,
Threaded together on Time's string,
Make bracelets to adorn the wife
Of the eternal glorious King.
On Sunday heaven's gate stands ope ;
Blessings are plentiful and rife,
More plentiful than hope.
This day my Saviour rose,
And did enclose this light for his,
That, as each beast his manger knows,
Man might not of his fodder miss.
; Christ hath took in this piece of ground,
And made a garden there for those
Who want herbs for their wound.
The rest of our creation
'Our great Redeemer did remove,
With the same shake which, at his passion,
Did th' earth and all things with it move.
As Samson bore the doors away,
Christ's hands, though nail'd, wrought our. salvation,
And did unhinge that day.
The brightness of that day
We sullied by our foul offence ;
Wherefore that robe we cast away,
Having a new at his expense,
20 THE SABBATH.
Whose drops of blood paid the full price,
That was required to make us gay,
And fit for Paradise.
Thou art a day of mirth :
And where the week-days trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher as thy birth.
O let me take thee at the bound,
Leaping with thee from seven to seven,
Till that we both, being toss'd from earth,
Fly hand in hand to heaven.
u The Lord is risen indeed,"
And are the tidings true ?
Yes, they beheld the Saviour bleed,
And saw him living too.
" The Lord is risen indeed,"
Then Justice asks no more ;
Mercy and Truth are now agreed,
Who stood opposed before.
" The Lord is risen indeed,"
Then is his work performed ;
The captive surely now is freed,
And death, our foe, disarmed.
THE SABBATH. 21
" The Lord is risen indeed/'
Then Hell has lost his prey :
With him is risen the ransom'd seed,
To reign in endless day.
u The Lord is risen indeed,"
He lives to die no more :
He lives the sinner's cause to plead,
Whose curse and shame he bore.
" The Lord is risen indeed,"
This yields my soul a plea :
He bore the punishment decreed,
And satisfied for me.
" The Lord is risen indeed,"
Attending angels hear,
Up to the courts of heaven with speed
The joyful tidings bear.
Then take your golden lyres,
And strike each cheerful chord,
Join all the bright celestial choirs,
To sing our risen Lord.
22 THE SABBATH.
What says the Prophet? Let that day be blest
With holiness and consecrated rest.
Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude :
Nobly distinguished above all the six,
By deeds in which the world must never mix.
Hear him again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury, observed aright,
When the glad soul is made Heaven's welcome guest
Sits banquetting, and God provides the feast.
Lord ! I believe a rest remains
To all thy people known ;
A rest where pure enjoyment reigns,
And thou art loved alone.
Celestial Spirit ! make me know
That I shall enter in.
Now, Saviour ! now thy power bestow,
And wash me from my sin.
Remove this hardness from my heart,
This unbelief remove ;
To me the rest of faith impart,
The Sabbath of tUy love.
THE SABBATH. 23
Come, O my Saviour ! come away,
Into my soul descend ;
No longer from thy creature stay,
My Author and my End !
Hail, Sabhath ! thee J. hail the poor man's day.
On other days, the man of toil is doom'd
To eat his joyless bread, lonely ; the ground
Both seat and board ; screened from the winter's cold,
Vnd summer's heat, by neighbouring hedge or tree ;
But on this day, embosomed in his home,
He shares the frugal meal with those he loves ;
with those he loves, he shares the heartfelt joy
3f giving thanks to God, — not thanks of form,
\ word and a grimace, but reverently,
\\\i\\ covered face and upward earnest eye.
And did he rise ?
lear, O ye nations ! hear it, O ye dead !
le rose, he rose ! he binst the gates of death.
Lilt up your heads, ye everlasting gates,
24 THE SABBATH.
And give the King of Glory to come in.
Who is the King of Glory ? He who slew
The ravenous foe that gorg'd all human race !
The King of Glory he, whose glory filPd
Heav'n with amazement at his love to man,
And with divine complacency beheld
Powers most illumin'd wilderM in the theme.
The theme, the joy, how then shall man sustain ?
Oh, the burst gates ! crushed sting ! demolished
Last gasp of vanquished death. Shout, earth and
This sum of good to man ! whose nature then
Tuok wing, and mounted with him from the tomb.
Then, then I rose ', then first humanity
Triumphant past the crystal ports of light
(Stupendous guest!) and seizM eternal youth,
Seiz'd in our name.
Types of eternal rest — fair buds of bliss,
In heavenly flowers unfolding week by week —
The next world's gladness imag'd forth in this —
Days of whose worth the Christian's heart can
THE SABBATH. 25
Eternity in Time — the steps by which
We climb to future ages— lamps that light
Man through his darker days, and thought enrich,
Yielding redemption for the week's dull flight.
Wakeners of prayer in man — his resting bowers
As on he journeys in the narrow way,
Where, Eden^like, Jehovah's walking hours
Are waited for as in the cool of day. ,
Days fix'd by God for intercourse with dust,
To raise our thoughts, and purify our powers —
Periods appointed to renew our trust—
A gleam of glory after six days' showers !
A milky way mark'd out through skies else drear,
By radiant suns that warm as well as shine —
A clue, which he who follows knows no fear,
Though briers and thorns around his pathway twine.
Foretastes of heaven on earth — pledges of joy
Surpassing fancy's flights, and fiction's story —
The preludes of a feast that cannot cloy,
And the bright out-courts of immortal glory !
26* THE SABBATH.
Long could not death in weak-imprisoning bands —
Impossible ! — the Lord of life detain,
Nor the vain priestly seal, nor Roman watch —
Availless all, the appointed third day's morn,
First of the week, had scarce unbarr'd the skies
But from the eternal portal downward sped
The Archangel, on commission vast, dismissed
From sovereign Justice satisfied, to loose
Our law -freed surety. With his presence mov'd
Earth, awed, and trembling for her guilty sons,
Deep at her center quaked ; while from the tomb-
Back, with resentful look, the pond'rous stone
He roll'd : and en it with terrific state
Sat sternly passive, full in dreadful view.
Like lightning shone his visage, and his robes
Of heavenliest lustre foil'd the unsullied snow.
Where are the dauntless guards ? Couvuls'd with fear
All shivering, struck to earth like lifeless men !
Not so weak Mary — women, strong in faith,
Shall shame a host of trembling infidels : —
Ah happy females ! As by woman first
Came mortal woe, so tidings now of life
To Eve's recovered sons ye first shall bear
In risen Jesus. Lo ! the Lord appears !
Before the rest, to favoured Magdalene ; —
Oft find's the guiltiest sinner signal grace —
Then to the eleven, on the next first-day eve
THE SABBATH. 27
Met all for prayer, convincive to the test
Of sight and touch. Full forty blissful days
Conversing, was he seen ; revealing laws
Of his new kingdom ; when his little flock
To Bethany he led, ascending thence
Witli words of blessing, visibly to heav'n ;
So to return again to waiting saints.
Sweet day of rest! for thee Pd wait,
Emblem and earnest of a state
Where saints are fully blest !
For thee Pd look, for thee Pd sigh !
I'd count the days till thou art nigh,
Sweet day of sacred rest !
But oft (with shame I will confess)
My privilege my burden is :
No joy, alas ! have I ;
When I would take my harp and sing,
I find it oft without a string,
And lay it coldly by.
But while T thus confess my shame,
>Tis right that I should praise his name,
Who makes me sometimes sing ;
28 THE SABBATH.
Yes, Lord ! (Pll speak it to thy praise,)
My cheerful song I sometimes raise,
And triumph in my King,
Oh ! let the case be always so,
My song no interruption know,
Till death shall seal my tongue :
In heaven a noble strain I'll raise,
And rest from every thing but praise,
My heav'n an endless song.
Return, thou wished and welcome guest,
Thou day of holiness and rest !
Thou best, the dearest of the seven,
Emblem and harbinger of heaven !
Tho' not the Bridegroom, — at his voice,
Friend of the Bridegroom, still rejoice!
Day doubly sanctified and blessM !
Thee the Creator crown'd with rest
From all his works : from all his woes
On thee the Saviour found repose.
Thou dost with mystic voice rehearse
The birth-day of an universe*
THE SABBATH. 29
Prophet, historian, both in scope,
Thou speak 'st to memory and to hope.
Amidst this earthliness of life,
Vexation, vanity, and strife,
Sabbath, how sweet thy holy calm
Comes o'er the soul, like healing balm ;
Comes like the dew to fainting flowers,
Renewing her enfeebled powers.
Thine hours, how soothingly they glide,
Thy morn, thy noon, thine eventide!
The soldier's armour clear from rust,
Or wipe the way-worn pilgrim's dust!
All meet as brethren, mix as friends;
Nature her general groan suspends ;
No cares, no sin-born labours tire ;
E'en the poor brutes thou bid's! respire ;
'Tis almost as, restor'd awhile,
Earth had resum'd her Eden smile.
I love thy call of early bells,
As on my waking ear it swells ;
I love to see thy pious train,
Seeking in groups the solemn fane ;
But most I love to mingle there
In sympathy of praise and prayer,
And listen to that living word
Which breathes the Spirit of the Lord ;
30 THE SABBATH.
Or, at the mystic table placM,
Those eloquent mementos taste
Of Thee, thou suffering Lamb Divine,
Thy soul-refreshing bread and wine ;
Sweet viands, kindly giv'n to swage
The faintness of the pilgrimage !
SeverM from Salem, while unstrung
His harp on pagan willows hung,
What wonder if the Psalmist pinM,
As for her brooks the hunted hind !
The Temple's humblest place would win
Gladlier than all the pomp of sin !
Envied th' unconscious birds that sung,
Arouud those altars, o'er their young !
And deem'd one heavenly Sabbath worth
More than a thousand days of earth !
Well might his harp and heart rejoice
To hear once more that festal voice :
" Come, brethren, come ! with glad accord,
" Haste to the dwelling of the Lord I"
But if, on earth, so calm, so blest
The house of prayer, the day of rest ;
Jf to the spirit, when it faints, -1
So sweet th' assembly of the saints ; —
Here let us pitch our tent (we say)
For, Lord, with thee 'tis good to stay ;
THE SABBATH. 31
Yet from the mount we soon descend,
Too soon these earthly Sabbaths end ;
Cares of a work-day world return,
And faint our hearts, and fitful, burn : —
Oh think, my soul! beyond compare,
Think what a Sabbath must be there,
Where all is holy bliss, that knows
Nor imperfection, nor a close ;
Where that innumerable throng,
Of saints and angels, mingle song ;
Where, wrought with hands, no temples rise,
For God himself their place supplies ;
Nor priests are needed in th' abode
Where the whole hosts are priests to God :
Think what a Sabbath there shall be,
The Sabbath of Eternity !
Our Sabbath has its work ;
Love may yet labour on care's day of rest.
Knows thy friend-pitying heart no pensive saint
Journeying in darkness, whom thy pilgrim voice,
From a large fund of stored experiences,
Gently might cheer ? None, gripM by worldly straits
32 THE SABBATH.
Whom thy free giving, or, in act next kind,
Thy lending hand as liberal, or at least
Thy pleading interest, might from deadliest want
Timely redeem ? No mourner, destitute
In lonely widowhood, woe's most tragic scene !
With her young brood of helpless orphans left,
Watering with tears the fond sad mother's knee ?
Have alms been added ? Alms should follow prayers,
Their harbingers, as sunshine does the dawn.
Will indigence exempt thee ? Art thou poor ?
And is thy soul poor too ? The meanest wretch
Has somewhat ; Pity's godlike charity.
Thou 'It call this counsel moral :— be it so :
'Tis Christian too ; built on Belief's sound base,
Its evidence and fruits — " no works, no faith."
A formal proud morality may vaunt
Without religion, but religion's self
Ne'er had true life without morality.
Lord of the Sabbath and its light !
I hail thy hallow'd day of rest ;
It is my weary soul's delight,
The solace of my care-worn breast.
THE SABBATH. 33
Its dewy mom — its glowing noon —
Its tranquil eve — its solemn night —
Pass sweetly ; but they pass too soon,
And leave me sadden'd at their flight.
Yet sweetly as they glide along,
And hallow'd tho' the calm they yield ;
Transporting though their rapturous song,
And heavenly visions seem reveal'd :
My soul is desolate and drear,
My silent harp untun'd remains ;
Unless, my Saviour, thou art near,
To heal my wounds and sooth my pains.
O ever, ever let me hail
Thy presence with thy day of rest !
Then will thy servant never fail
To deem thy Sabbaths doubly blest.
How welcome to the saints, when press 'd
With six days noise, and care, and toil,
Is the returning day of rest,
Which hides them from the world awhile !
34 THE SAB BATH e
Now, from the throng withdrawn away,
They seem to breathe a diff 'rent air ;
Compos'd and softenM by the day,
All things another aspect wear.
We thank thee for thy day, O Lord !
Here we thy promised presence seek ;
Open thine hand, with blessings stored,
And give us manna for the week*
THE SABBATH MORNING. 86
THE SABBATH MORNING.
How still the morning of the hallow 'd day !
Mute is the voice of rural labour ; hushed
The ploughboy's whistle, and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yester-morn bloomed waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear — the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating midway up the hill.
Calmness sits throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland-leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower through the dale ;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song ; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep- worn glen ;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard, at intervals
The voice of psalms — the simple song of praise.
With dove-like wings, Peace o'er yon village broods :
The dizzying mill-wheel rests ; the anvil's din
36 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Hath ceased ; all, all around is quietness.
Less fearful cm this day, the limping hare
Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man,
Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free,
Un heedful of the pasture, roams at large ;
And, as his stiff unwieldly bulk he rolls,
His iron-arm'd hoofs gleam in the morning-ray.
Teach me thy love to know,
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show :
Then by a sunbeam I will climb to thee.
Early, my God ! without delay,
I haste to seek thy face :
My thirsty spirit faints away,
Without thy cheering grace.
So pilgrims on the scorching sand,
Beneath a burning sky,
Long for a cooling stream at hand,
And they must drink or die*
THE SABBATH MORNING. 37
I've seen thy glory and thy power
Through all thy temple shine J
My God, repeat that heavenly hour,
That vision so divine !
Not all the blessings of a feast
Can please my soul so well,
As when thy richer grace I taste,
And in thy presence dwell.
Not life itself, with all her joys,
Can my best passions move,
Or raise so high my cheerful voice,
As thy forgiving love.
Thus, till my last expiring day,
I'll bless my God and King ;
Thus will I lift my hands to pray,
And tune my lips to sing.
Dear is the hallo wM morn to me,
When village-bells awake the day,
And, by their sacred minstrelsy,
Call me from earthly cares away.
38 THE SABBATH MORNING.
And dear to me the winged hour,
Spent in thy ballow'd courts, O Lord !
To feel devotion's soothing power,
And catch the manna of thy word.
And dear to me the loud Amen,
Which echoes through the blest abode,
Which swells and sinks, and swells again,
Dies on the walls, and lives to God.
And dear the rustic harmony,
Sung by the pomp of village-art ;
That holy, heavenly melody,
The music of a thankful heart.
In secret I have often prayed,
And still the anxious tears would fall ;
But on thy sacred altar laid,
The fire descends and dries them all.
Oft when the world, with iron hands,
Has bound me in its six-days' chain,
This bursts them, like the strong man's bands,
And lets my spirits loose again.
Then dear to me the Sabbath- morn ;
The village-bells, the shepherd's voice :
THE SABBATH MORNING. 39
These oft have found my heart forlorn,
And always bid that heart rejoice.
Go, man of pleasure ! strike thy lyre,
Of broken Sabbaths sing the charms ;
Our's be the Prophet's car of fire,
That bears us to a Father's arms.
With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That slowly wakes while all the fields are still ;
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur gurgles from the rill,
And Echo answers softer from the hill ;
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn.
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene ! hail, sacred Sabbath-morn !
The rooks float silently, in airy drove ;
The sun a placid yellow lustre throws ;
The gales, that lately sighed along the grove,
Have hushed their downy wings in dead repose ;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move ; —
So smiled the day when the first morn arose I
40 THE SABBATH MORNIXCr.
When first thy opening eyes receive
The glorious light of day,
Give thy awakening spirit leave
To be as blest as they.
Our outward organs well may teach
Its duty to the soul ;
And thoughts ascend, that need not speech,
Unto their heavenly goal.
For hearts, whose love to God is true,
Should open with the day :
As flowers impearPd with morning-dew
Their tenderest tints display.
Give God thy waking thoughts, that He,
Throughout the day, may keep
Thy spirit company, and be
Its guardian while asleep.
Yet sleep not when the sun has risen,
For prayer with day should rise ;
And holiest thoughts, set free from prison,
Should soar above the skies.
There are appointed hours between
Our souls and love divine ;
THE SABBATH MORNING. 41
Nothing of earth should intervene
To mar their blest design.
The manna's heavenly charm was gone
With morning's stainless dews ;
And flowers, on which the sun has shone,
Their sweetest perfume lose.
Then let not needless slumber glut
Morn's glories by its sin ;
When this world's gates are closest shut,
Heaven's open : — enter in !
Jesus ! dear name of love ! O Saviour God !
After long absence, how divinely sweet
Thy felt retnrn ! like instantaneous health,
Delightful, to a wretch by sickness worn,
Snatch'd back miraculous from dying pangs.
He comes ! pain's balm, the healing visitor,
The sympathising friend. Wake, languid soul !
Wake from dark cares, my sorrow-sinking heart !
42 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Hail morn ! more sacred than creation's light,
When Jesus rose ! accomplishing a\work
In man's redemption, happier than his birth.
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty ! thine this universal frame,
Thus wonderous fair ; Thyself how wonderous then !
Unspeakable, who sit'st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Angels, for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night
Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in heaven,
On earth join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
THE SABBATH MORNING. 43
And when high noon hast gained, and when thou
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fixed Stars, fixed in their orb shat flies ;
And ye five other wandering Fires, that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness called up light.
Air, and ye Elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform ; and mix
And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paints your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise ;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud ; and, wave your tops, ye Pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living Souls ; ye Birds,
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
44 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep ;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord ! be bounteous still
To give us only good ; and if the night
Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
Arise, arise, thou glorious Light !
Surpassing that of day,
And o'er the spirit's starless night
Diffuse thy dawning ray :
Thy gentle splendour, from on high,
Alone can holy hope supply
To pilgrims Sion-ward ;
Alone can dissipate their fear,
And tell them that the time draws near
Of healing from the Lord : — ■
The time for binding up the breach
Which sin and death have made ;
For healing wounds beyond the reach
Of Reason's vaunted aid :
THE SABBATH MORNING. 45
Of such our spirits own the woe ;
A mightier must the balm bestow ; —
But all around is dark ;
Night still our onward path enshrouds,
And, to the spirit's eye, its clouds
Are resting on the ark.
Fain would we turn to thee, O Lord !
For we have wander M far ;
But while our wand'rings are abhorred,
We wait thy guiding star :
That Star the Eastern Sages saw,
And followed with devoted awe.
O ! bid its light arise ;
Disperse the clouds that veil our ark,
That we may journey towards the mark,—
Press forward for the prize.
For us that glorious Child was born ;
For us vouchsafed to give
Himself to poverty and scorn,
And died that we might live ;
For us the Holy Spirit's tones
Plead, in unutterable groans,
Before thy mercy-seat :
Then open on our mental eye
Thy joyful day-spring from on high,
To guide our erring feet.
46 THE SABBATH MORNING.
While in thine outward Word we trace
Each promise of thy love,
Grant us thy gift of saving grace,
Their life and power to prove :
Give us in living faitli to feel
A Saviour every wound can heal,
And every breach repair;
That so each feeling and each thought
Into obedience may be brought,
And perfect love declare.
Then on the moonlight path we tread,
Thy sun shall pour its rays ;
That sun, no more eclips'd, shall shed
Around a sevenfold blaze ;
And we in light and faith and love,
Shall journey to our home above,
A city pure and bright,
Where sun nor moon thy power declare,
Nor e'er a temple rear'd for prayer;
But thou, O God ! art present there,
Thy presence — praise and light.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 47
Ox thy beds of clover playing,
Pretty Insect, why so gay?
Why so blithely dress'd this morning?
'Tis to thee no Sabbath day.
Giddy trifler of an hour !
Days to thee are all the same —
Little care hast thou to count them.
Mindful only of thy game.
And thou dost well — for never sorrow
Sat upon thy golden brow —
And never storm of earthly passion
Gather'd in thy breast of snow.
Thou hast not sighM at evening's closing,
For hopes that left thee on its wing —
Thou hast not wept at day's returning,
With thought of what that day might bring.
Nor ever voice of truth neglected
Breath'd reproaches in thine ear —
Nor secret pang of conscious error
Spake of retribution near.
Play thy game, thou spotless Worm !
Stranger still to care and sorrow —
48 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Take thy meed of bliss to-day —
Thou wilt perish ere to-morrow.
Time has been, when like thee, thoughtless,
How unlike in all beside !
Lightly sped, and all uncounted
Blithe T saw the moments glide.
Then the world was all of flowers,
Thornless as thy clover bed —
Then my folly askM no question,
What might be when these were dead.
Had not Mercy's sterner pity
Bent its chastening rod on me,
Dancing still the rouud of pleasure,
I had died — but not like thee.
Deeply stained with sin and folly,
Talent wasted and misused,
Earth adored and heaven forgotten,
Mercy slighted and refused.
Torn from earth, unmeet for heaven,
I had learnM to envy thee —
Doom'd to live, as I had perished,
Through a long eternity. Fry.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 49
See on Augusta's tall, ascending spires
The lamp of morn has shot his whitening beam :
Fair structures ! reared for blest religion's use.
But where the living temples wilt thou find
Of God? — Where most his presence loves to dwell.
Where man ?— the favourite sanctuary of heav'n !
Some on the bed of sloth, in sleep supine
False rest indulging, or in wine's mad dream,
Fast captiv'd, or the folds of deadly sin.
Some wakeful with the alarm of worldly care,
Base mammon ! — or on roving pleasures called
Ill-timed, the all-holy season to profane.
Canst thou not find the few — the pious few ? —
Ah ! were their numbers more ! — whose hearts, pre-
In secret join their fellow saints above,
Leagued in their best employs, and well approved
By their all-seeing gracious Father's eye ?
Canst thou not mix in spirit with their train ?
Lift from dull earth thy thoughts— from sensual
And soar with kindred souls to long'd-for heaven ?
Christ's holy pilgrim ! wake ! a brother's voice
Alarms thee ; 'tis thy duty's friendly call.
Break from thy temperate rest of nature pure.
Of freest thought, of stillest silence calm,
Of sought retirement 'tis thy choicest hour.
50 THE SABBATH MORNING.
In secrecy, like Moses, first thyself
Ascend the mount alone, and prostrate there
With God, thy own, thy dear, thy vast concerns
Transact ; and taste the parent kiss divine.
Then, mild, assemble next thy household charge,
If Heaven has wilPd thee in a trust so high,
Them to the throne conduct, together bend,
Commingled interests, banded in one work,
One little, sweet society of love.
Their morning sacrifice, the great high-priest
Receiving, on his golden altar laid,
Shall with his incense offer ; and return
The quested blessings, from auspicious skies.
Hail ! holy day, of heav'n the certain pledge,
And pleasing prelibation here below ;
'Tis thine, Creation's groaning to assuage,
And bind with balmy hand her wounds of woe.
Rejoicing in the morning's ruddy glow,
The labouring ox, all wet with pearly dew,
The clover'd dale at will traverses slow,
While idly gleams upon the distant view,
Far o'er the fallow field, the glittering soil-worn
THE SABBATH MORNING. 51
Yea, e'en the simple ass, the daily drudge
Of yonder wandering ignominious train,
The thistle champs along the common's edge,
And lightsome ease obliterates all his pain.
But chief, in freedom from the weary wain
Exulting roams at large the bounding steed ;
Light floats upon the breeze his flowing mane,
He snorts, he paws, he skims the flow'ry mead ;
The Sabbath day to him a day of joy indeed.
And down the vale, where, yet unmelted, fly
The morning clouds around his humble home,
Wrapt up in holy contemplation high,
Behold the week-worn cotter slowly roam.
On every hand the fragrant flowerets bloom ;
An hymn of joy in every thicket rings ;
Earth breathes a grateful offering of perfume,
While blithe the lark extends his dewy wings,
And soaring up to heaven, a heaven-taught sonnet
Years have been lost: up, stir thee to redeem
All that of life may yet be thine ; who knows
How little ! — Life is but a scanty ledge,
Where the poor pilgrim walks suspended 'twixt
52 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Two fathomless abysses, Hell and Heaven.
Oh let him heed his footing, heed his side !
Chances play round him momently; and each
May sweep him to the unknown, next which he
There to reside for ever, blest or curst !
It was a lovely morning ; — all was calm,
As if creation, thankful for repose,
In renovated beauty, breathing balm
And blessedness around, from slumber rose ;
Joyful once more to see the East unclose
Its gates of glory : — yet subduM and mild,
Like the soft smile of patience, amid woes
By hope and resignation reconciled,
That morning's beauty shone, that landscape's charm
The heavens were mark'd by many a filmy streak,
Even in the orient ; and the sun shone through
Those lines, as Hope upon a mourner's cheek
Sheds, meekly chastened, her delightful hue.
From groves and meadows, all impearlM with dew,
THE SABBATH MORNING. 53
Rose silvery mists, — no eddying wind swept by, —
The cottage chimneys, half concealed from view
By their embowering foliage, sent on high
Their pallid wreaths of smoke unruffled to the sky.
And every gentle sound which broke the hush
Of morning's still serenity, was sweet :
The sky-lark over head ; the speckled thrush,
Who now had taken with delight his seat
Upon the slender larch, the day to greet ;
The starling, chattering to her callow young ;
And that monotonous lay, which seems to fleet
Like echo through the air, the cuckoo's song,
Was heard at times far off, the leafy woods among.
Surrounded by such sights and sounds, I stood,
Delighted auditor, spectator here ;
And gave full scope, in meditative mood,
To thoughts excited by a scene so fair :
Feeling renewedly how matchless are
The power and goodness of that great Supreme,
Who form'd and fashion'd all things to declare,
Even to those who lightly of Him deem,
The beauty and the love of his creative scheme.
54 THE SABBATH MORNING.
See ! night has thinn'd her shades. The herald bird,
Day's watchful harbinger, with crowings loud
Gives signal. O ! like weeping Peter touched,
Duly let me, affecting monitor !
Thy summons hear. — But, mark the meek-eyed dawn,
Light's youngest daughter, drest in vesture pale,
With sweet cool breath, descends from odorous skies !
The Sabbath dawn, first of the week, and best.
Up, sleeper ! from thy bed. At earlier hour
From sadder bed, for thee thy Saviour rose !
By memory warned, at the loved name I wake.
At the known reverenced voice devoutly wake ;
I wake with God : last in my thoughts and first
By night and morn. My guardian of the night,
My guide by day. Ah ! what is liyhtless day
Without thy light? Ah! what is lifeless life
Without thy dear vitality? As flowers
Weeping in watery dews, their faces bend
To their all-cheering parent's genial ray,
The fostering sun, so turns my soul to feel
Her quickening Father. In thy arms of love
Safe have T slept ; thy arms of love alone
Can safe uphold me waking. Led by thee,
My footsteps now I trust in open skies ;
In sacred meditation wrapt ; to taste
The fresh, prime fragrance of returning light.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 55
Star of the mom, whose placid ray
BeamM mildly o'er yon sacred hill,
While whispering zephyrs seemed to say,
As silence slept and earth was still,
Hail ! harbinger of Gospel light !
Dispel the shades of nature's night !
I saw thee rise on Salem's towers,
I saw thee shine on Gospel lands,
And Gabriel summoned all his powers
And waked to ecstasy his bands ;
Sweet cherubs hailed thy rising ray,
And sang the dawn of Gospel day !
Shine, lovely star ! on every clime,
For bright thy peerless beauties be,
Gild with thy beam the wing of time,
And shed thy rays from sea to sea ;
Then shall the world from darkness rise,
Millennial glories cheer our eyes !
56 THE SABBATH MORNING.
That star of the East never gladdened my sight
Which poured on the path of the Magi its light,
Till they gazed with believing, adoring delight,
On an object more wondrous and fair :
That midnight effulgence ne'er dazzled my eye,
Which suddenly streamed from the chambers on high,
While the voices of seraphs and harps of the sky
With melody ravished the air.
But, O my Redeemer, all thar*its to thy love !
For us the fair day-spring has beamed from above ;
Nor e'er shall the " star of the morning " remove,
Till we reach the celestial abode.
Eclipsed is the beam which illumined their way ;
But brighter and broader the heavenly ray
Which guides our faint steps to the regions of day,
To the sight of our Father and God.
See Nature gay, as when she first began
With smiles alluring her admirer man ;
She spreads the morning over eastern hills,
Earth glitters with the drops the night distils ;
The Sun obedient to her call appears,
To fling his glories o'er the robe she wears ;
THE SABBATH MORNING. 57
Banks clothM with flowers, groves fiUM witb sprightly
Thy yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising grounds,
Streams edgM with osiers, fatt'ning every field,
Where'er they flow, now seen and now conceaiM ;
From the blue rim where skies and monntains meet,
Down to the very turf beneath thy feet,
Ten thousand charms that only fools despise,
Or Pride can look at with indifferent eyes,
All speak one language, all with one sweet voice
Cry to her universal realm— Rejoice !
I have seen the young morn, with its struggling
Half quenched in the slumbering shadows of night ;
Till, clothed from on high with the splendours of day,
It poured o'er the landscape a torrent of light.
It is thus with the heart : in the morn of our hope
Joy struggles with doubt, and faith with despair ;
Now thickens the mist on the high mountain-top,
Now, smit by the sunbeam, it melts in thin air.
58 THE SABBATH MORNING.
How lovely the hour when that conflict is o'er ;
When the soul is released from the land of alarms ;
When it dwells in the mists of the mountain no more,
But ascends to its Father, to sink in his arms!
The all-present eye
Of heaven beams brightly ! and methinks the day
Looks beautiful as when an infant wakes
From its soft slumbers — and in every ray
I trace the visible presence — dark and dim —
But still the presence visible of Him,
At whose first call the early morning breaks
Through twilight's curtain.
But see ! in mild resplendent majesty,
See, where ascending, the bright orb of day
Smiles from his eastern throne ; dispelling fast
Th' unwholsome mists, that with distempered shade
Hung on night's dusky rear, and hide from view
Surrounding prospects fair : of daisied meads
And wood-clad hills, with villas intermix'd
Of ancient aspect ; fram'd for rural peace,
Delightful residence ! and verdant groves
THE SABBATH MORNING. 59
Of structure tall, and silver-skirting streams,
Winding through vales in Flora's wardrobes drest,
Or varied grain ; and mountain heights beyond,
By distance blue, that lose themselves in sky.
How chang'd a prospect ! from the scene of late,
When darkness, Nature's emblematic grave,
Had closM her in a temporary death ;
Annihilating colours, sense, and forms.
On every lid had shed her poppy dews,
And round creation's silent bed had drawn
Her sable curtains, of nocturnal gloom.
Thus looks the convert late in bondage locked
Of legal terrors, a tremendous night ! —
Thus changM, when on his sad tenebrious soul
Jesus, the day-star, from above, shall rise
With healing balm beneath his radiant wings ;
Jesus, of righteousness, that brighter sun !
Is light so grateful to the human sense ?
Created light ? a faint, refracted ray ?
One distant sun ? the shadow, but, of God ?
Dark adumbration of the Deity?
Oh ! what is Heaven! that day of endless light?
Where saints shall from the essential fountain drink
Of radiance ! — in God's full paternal shine !
Ah ! what is Hell ! — of ever absent day
A night, all hopeless ! — and all endless too !
60 THE SABBATH MORNING.
How cheering the thought, that the spirits in bliss
Will bow their bright wings to a world such as this ;
Will leave the sweet songs of the mansion above,
To breathe o'er our bosoms some message of love!
They come, on the wings of the morning they come.
Impatient to lead some poor wanderer home ;
Some pilgrim to snatch from this stormy abode,
And lay him to rest in the arms of his God.
When morn's' returning beams inspire
The birds' enraptured lays,
How glows my mind to wake the lyre,
And join the general praise !
While nature's choristers rejoice
Thy blessings, Lord, to share,
And tune for thee each rival voice,
Shall mine be wanting there?
And they, howe'er their transport soars,
Can song alone impart ;
But, while my tongue thy name adores,
More vocal be my heart !
THE SABBATH MORNING. 61
How sweet from every herb and flower
That freshened fragrance steals,
Known only when the morning hour
Its dewy light reveals !
When odours, wheresoever I stray,
From earth's great altars rise,
Shall Gratitude neglect to pay
Her nobler sacrifice ?
What livelier fervours, at her call,
Our rising zeal should fan :
For Thou, who art the God of all,
Art Saviour but to man.
On all thy sun benignant beams,
For all, thy breezes blow ;
For all, thy cool abundant streams
Lend freshness, where they flow ;
Thy flowers, for all, perfume the sod,
Thy fruits for all provide ;
To all Thou liv'st— but Thou, O God,
For man alone hast died !
62 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Waked by thy sun, again ray thoughts ascend
To Thee, my heavenly Father ! and they blend
In one aspiring hymn of praise and prayer.
All-present Being ! now the morning air
Is calm, is fragrant with thy Spirit — bright
With the reflected influence of thy light.
When man had sinn'd, and none might intervene,
When low he crouch'd to bear th> impending stroke,
The star of promise rose, though dimly seen,
As trembling from afar, its beam of darkness broke :
Thro' mist and storm, Hope watch'd its wan ray
Whilst its cold light, faint and feebly fell,
But yet it cheer'd that night, its pale form seeming-
Still th' approach of brighter hours to tell ;
Its beams were borrowed from some orb of light,
Not yet above the dark horizon pass'd,
And higher still it rose, bless'd gem of night,
Though slow its progress mid that gloomy waste.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 63
The storm that scowl'd along the thickening sky,
Stay'd not its course, though oft might dim its ray,
Far from that wild tempestuous tumult, high
It rose from regions of eternal day :
And man, with glad observance, long below,
Watch'd oft its ray, till morning's brighter flame
Across the murky heaven began to glow,
And thro' the east rich radiance smiling came :
Fast fading in superior glory sunk
That heaven-born star to rest, and light unfuri'd
Her blazing banner high, and all things drank
The beam that cheer'd a long benighted world !
And who was that bright Sun of Righteousness,
That o'er the nations now majestic rose,
Their darkened vision with his truth to bless,
And all around the glowing scenes disclose?
Give ear, O Heavens ! and be astonished, Earth !
It was your God ! — no clouds of anger now
Fled o'er his face, no vengeance cloth'd his brow,
But mercy mild, proclaimed his early birth.
He came, his own lov'd promise to fulfil
To the first rebel given — he came to save
64 THE SABBATH MORNING.
Man's ruinM offspring, and the sting to heal
Which death and hell endure beyond the grave.
He came ! and in our nature strangely bore
For us the burden, and our souls did free
From that dread load, whose lightest part had pow'r
To dash us all in unquench'd misery.
To suffer in our stead the pains untold
Of death eternal, and a guilty world
From the destroyer's weapon to withhold,
When flaming vengeance from on high was hurled.
For us he left the abodes of bliss above,
Where seraphs at his awful presence bow,
When veiled they adore the boundless love,
His power and grace on rebels could bestow.
With this compared — amazing, matchless theme,
All others sink to nought, a worthless show,
As from some mazy peering summit seen
The lessening forms that stretch afaT below.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 65
How sweet, in the musing of faith, to repair
To the garden where Mary delighted to rove :
To sit by the tomb where she breath'd her fond
And paid her sad tribute of sorrow and love ;
To see the bright beam which disperses her fear,
As the Lord of her soul breaks the bars of his prison,
And the voice of the angel salutes her glad ear, —
The Lord is a captive no more — " He is risen V
O Saviour ! as oft as our footsteps we bend
Tn penitent sadness to weep at thy grave,
On the wings of thy greatness in pity descend,
Be ready to comfort and " mighty to save/'
We shrink not from scenes of desertion and woe,
If there we may meet with the Lord of our love ;
Contented with Mary to sorrow below,
If with her, we may drink of thy fountains above.
Tipped by the sun's emerging beams,
How bright the village spire !
Contrasted with yon cloud, it seems
A lamp of living fire.
6(5 THE SABBATH MORNING.
So shines thy sun of mercy, Lord,
Affliction to illume,
Reflected from thy holy word,
When all beside is gloom.
God of the morning ! Thou, the Sabbath's God !
Round whose bright footsteps thousand planets roll ;
A million beings at thy mighty nod
Are born ; — and perish a? they reach their goal.
How great art thou ! — an unimagined deep
Of wisdom and of power ! — Thy laws how sure —
Thy way how full of mystery !— Thou dost keep
Thy court among the heavens, sublime and pure
And unapproachable ; the tired eye breaks
Ere it can reach thee. — Who can fathom thee !
Who read thy counsels ? Thought exhausted seeks
Thy path in vain. 'Tis o'er the mighty sea,
On the tall mountain, in the rushing wind,
And the mad tempest. — In a cloudy car,
Wrapt in thick darkness, rides the Eternal mind,
O'er land and ocean, and from star to star.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 67
And is there no tall rock, whose shady cleft
May shelter me, while on thy form I gaze —
Thy glory 's radiance softened, and bereft
Of Sinai's thunder-gloom and lightnings blaze ?
Yes, in thy riven side my faith shall stand,
Immanuel ! — the rock of ages Thou !
For on thy holy and unsheltered brow
Fell vengeful wrath's tremendous thunder-brand : —
There will I hide me and uplift mine eye,
And contemplate Jehovah passing by.
All mildly glorious as the morning rays
That wake my soul to prayer ! — no anger frowns !
A smile of reconciliation plays
Around his face, and me his child he owns.
The whisper of his love — the still small voice —
The Spirit's witness to the soul within,
Assures of pardon and subdues my sin ;
My fears are calm'd : I will— I do rejoice !
Thy greatness, Lord ! no more appalling seems ;
Thy justice haloed round with mercy beams.
Thought, once exhausted, now finds sweet repose :
The eye, once broken in its search for thee,
Now gleams with joy, save when my sorrow flows
At mem'ry of the past. My God I see
68 THE SABBATH MORNING.
In Jesus, my Redeemer — Saviour — Life —
All-just — All-wise — Almighty too to save,
Whether he traverses the calm sea wave,
Or cloud-veil'd rules the elemental strife :
Through planetary worlds I trace his way,
And follow on to everlasting day.
When streaming from the eastern skies,
The morning light salutes my eyes,
O Sun of Righteousness divine !
On me with beams of mercy shine ;
Chase the dark clouds of guilt away,
And turn my darkness into day.
When to Heaven's great and glorious King
My morning sacrifice I bring ;
And, mourning o'er my guilt and shame,
Ask mercy in my Saviour's name :
Then, Jesus, sprinkle with thy blood,
And be my Advocate with God.
As every day thy mercy spares
Will bring its trials and its cares,
O Saviour ! till my life shall end,
** thou my counsellor and friend;
THE SABBATH MORNING. fc>9
Teach me thy precepts, all divine,
And be thy great example mine.
When pain transfixes every part,
And languor settles at the heart ;
When, on my bed diseased, opprest,
I turn, and sigh, and long for rest ;
O great Physician ! see my grief,
And grant thy servant sweet relief.
Should Poverty's consuming blow,
Lay all my worldly comfort low,
And neither help nor hope appear,
My steps to guide, my heart to cheer ;
Lord ! pity and supply my need,-
For thou, on earth, wast poor indeed.
Should Providence profusely pour
Its various blessings in my store,
O keep me from the ills that wait
On such a seeming prosperous state :
From hurtful passions set me free,
And humbly may I walk with thee.
When each day's scenes and labours close,
And wearied nature seeks repose,
70 THE SABBATH MORNING.
With pard'ning mercy richly blest
Guard me, my Saviour, while I rest :
And, as each morning sun shall rise,
O lead me onward to the skies !
And at my life's last settiug sun,
My conflicts o'er, my labours done ;
Jesus, thine heavenly radiance shed,
To cheer and bless my dying bed.
And from Death's gloom my spirit raise
" To see thy face and sing thy praise."
The stars have sunk in yon concave blue,
And the sun is peeping through the dew ;
Thy Spirit, Lord ! doth nature fill-
Before thee angels' tongues are still,
And seraphs hush their golden strings,
In thy high presence, King of kings !
How then shall I, a clod of clay,
Or lift my voice, or tune my lay ?
Thou ! who the realms of space and time
Dost people with thy might sublime ;
Whose power is felt below, above,
Felt in thy wisdom, in thy love ;
THE SABBATH MORNING. 71
Whose awful voice is heard around,
Heard in its silence as its sound ;
Whose lovely Spirit does pervade
Alike the sunshine and the shade,
And shines and smiles in sorrow's night
As clearly as in pleasure's light.
Lord ! thou hast thunders — but they sleep ;
Storms — but they now their prisons keep ;
Nothing is breathing below, above,
But the spirit of harmony, joy, and love ;
Nothing is seen or heard around,
But beauty's smiles, and music's sound :
Music re-echoed in earth and air,
Beauty that's visible every where,
Join the concert — share the joy ;
Why should the cares of earth alloy
Pleasures which heaven itself has given,
Heavenly pleasures, which lead to heaven ?
How broad the kindling sunbeam glows
O'er hill, and stream, and dewy glen !
This morn, how sweetly bright it rose
On a wide world of guilty men !
72 THE SABBATH MORNING.
But broader still the beam of Love,
And brighter far its healing light,
Where the strained eye can never rove,
It lights the caverns of the night.
Lord ! on this clouded soul of mine
Oh let the living lustre fall !
Fill me with love as wide as thine,
Wide as the wants and woes of all.
Like morning, when her early breeze
Breaks up the surface of the seas,
That, in their furrows, dark^with night,
Her hand may sow the seeds of light —
Thy Grace can send its breathings o'er
The spirit dark and lost before ;
And, freshening all its depths, prepare
For Truth divine to enter there !
Till David touch'd his sacred lyre,
In silence lay th> unbreathing wire —
But when he swept its chords along,
Ev'n angels stoop'd to hear that song.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 73
So sleeps the soul, till thou, O Lord !
Shall deign to touch its lifeless chord —
Till, waked by thee, its breath shall rise
In grateful music to the skies.
The Halcyon, brooding on the deep,
Had every billow calmed to sleep,
The tides forgot to flow ;
Nor heaved the breathless air a sigh,
Nor cloud obscured the dark blue sky,
That mirror'd was below ; —
The moon her silver car had driven
In cloudless glory through the heaven,
And now had shot the goal ;
The stars their course in silence kept :
'Twas still, as if creation slept
Entranced from pole to pole ; —
On earth, no voice — no sound was heard :
Her descant ceased night's favourite bird :
Nor murmur'd Kedron's stream :
Reclining 'gainst the seal'd rock's breast,
The mail-clad guard enjoy'd their rest —
The warrior's fev'rish dream ; —
74 THE SABBATH MORXIXG.
O'er Zion's hill the star of morn,
Threw its bright beam— announced the dawn -
And warned the shades away ;
'Twas dark, tho' twilight op'd her eye,
Just meekly glancing on the sky,
Precursor of the day.
But see ! — the azure sky is riven !
An angel-form descends from heaven —
A meteor thro' the gloom !
His vesture, of the mantling light,
With glory's vivid radiance bright,
Illumes that guarded tomb.
A moment there he stands, alone —
Then rolls away the mighty stone,
As Zephyr moves the wave: —
He wakes! He wakes ! He lives ! — declare
Where is thy sling, O Death ! and where
Thy victory, O Grave !
Behold the Man ! behold the God !
How changed ! from when he suffering trod
Life's death-o'ershadowed vale :
The glory of his risen frame
Outshines that angel's robe of flame,
And turns his lustre pale.
THE SABBATH MORNING. 75
He rose, and simultaneous rose
Our hope of triumph o'er our foes —
Death, and the grave, and hell :
The powers of darkness, vanquished, fled
To nether darkness, and their Head
From heaven like lightning fell.
Rise, rise my soul! thy Saviour calls :
He bids thee burst sin's prison walls —
Thy sepulchre of guilt.
T come, dear Lord ! e'en now I rise,
To seek that mansion in the skies
By sovereign mercy built.
Low-thoughted world ! I gladly leave
Thy chilling vaults of death, nor grieve
Thy brightest scenes to flee :
United to my living Head,
I quit the regions of the dead
For immortality !
Nor distant far that Sabbath morn ,
The last that e'er on earth shall dawn,
When this vile frame of clay,
Chang'd, like my Saviour's glorious frame,
Shall glow with all a Seraph's flame,
In everlasting day. J. E.
76 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
THE SABBATH SERVICES.
Solemn the knell, from yonder ancient pile,*
Fills all the air, inspiring joyful awe ;
Slowly the throng moves o'er the tomb-paved ground;
The aged man, the bowed down, the blind
Led by the thoughtless boy, and he who breathes
With pain, and eyes the new-made grave well-pleased ;
These, mingled with the young, the gay, approach
The House of God ; these, 'spite of all their ills,
A glow of gladness feel: with silent praise
They enter in. A placid stillness reigns,
Until the man of God, worthy the name,
Arise, and read the Anointed Shepherd's lays.
His locks of snow, his brow serene, — his look
Of love, it speaks, " Ye are my children all —
The grey-haired man, scooping upon his staff,
As well as he, the giddy child, whose eye
Pursues the swallow flitting 'thwart the dome."
* Scotch Kirk.
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 77
Loud swells the song ! O how that simple song,
Though rudely chanted, how it melts the heart,
Commingling soul with soul, in one full tide
Of praise, of thankfulness, of humble trust!
Next comes the unpremeditated prayer,
Breathed from the inmost heart, in accents low
But earnest. — Altered is the tone : to man
Are now addressed the sacred speaker's words.
Instruction, admonition, comfort, peace,
Flow from his tongue. Oh ! chief let comfort flow !
It is most needed in this vale of tears.*
— —But hark, that infant's querulous voice!
Plaints not discordant to a parent's ear ;
And see the father raise the white-robed babe
In solemn dedication to the Lord :
The holy man sprinkles with out-stretched hand
The face off innocence ; then earnest turns,
And prays a blessing in the name of Him
Who said, Let little children come to me:
Forbid them not.
* The Cross.' the Cross.' Be that the preacher's theme,
That sovereign antidote for human woe,
The trembling sinner's plea, the saint's repose,
Earth's triumph, and the standard of the skies —
The death of death—the victory of the grave !
t w Their innocency"— harralessness. Baptismal Service.
78 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
Nor would I leave unsung
The lofty ritual of our Sister-Land.
In vestment white, the minister of God
Opens the book, and reverentially
The stated portion reads. A pause ensues.
The organ breathes its distant thunder-notes,
Then swells into a diapason full.
The people, rising, sing, With harp, with harp.
And voice of psalms. Harmoniously attuned
The various voices blend; the long-drawn aisles,
At every close, the lingering strain prolong.
And now the tubes a mellowed stop controls :
In softer harmony the people join,
While liquid whispers from yon orphan-band
Recal the soul from adoration's trance,
And fill the eye with Pity's gentle tears.
Again the organ-peal, loud rolling, meets
The hallelujahs of the choir. Sublime,
A thousand notes symphoniously ascend,
As if the whole were one, suspendeJ high
In air, soaring heaven-ward : afar they float,
Wafting glad tidings to the sick man's couch.
Raised on his arm, he lists the cadence close,
Yet thinks he hears it still ; his heart is cheered ;
He smiles on death.
Nor yet less pleasing at the heavenly throne,
The Sabbath service of the shepherd-boy.
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 79
In some lone glen, where every sound is lulled
To slumber, save the tinkling of the rill,
Or bleat of lamb, or hovering falcon's cry,
Stretched on the sward, he reads of Jesse's sons,*
Or sheds a tear o'er him to Egypt sold,
And wonders why he weeps. The volume closed,
With thyme-sprig laid between the leaves, he sings
The sacred lays, his weekly lesson, conned
With meikle care beneath the lowly roof,
'Where humble lore is learnt.
Thus reading, hymning, all alone, unseen,
The shepherd-boy the Sabbath holy keeps,
Till on the heights he marks the straggling bands
Returning homeward from the house of prayer.
But what the pastoral lay,
The melting dirge, the battle's trumpet peal,
Compared to notes with sacred numbers linked
* Of Him, the Shepherd of the sheep, who came
Down from his native hills to seek and save —
Save from the lion's fangs and yawning pit
The wandering, perishing, and helpless sheep.
He, for the lost, his life a ransom paid ;
Then, rising from his virgin-tomb, he bore
Rejoicing to the fold his flock redeemed.
BO THE SABBATH SERVICES.
In union, solemn, grand? Oh 1 then the spirit,
Upborne on pinions of celestial sound,
Soars to the throne of God, aud ravished hears
Ten thousand times ten thousand voices rise
In hallelujahs, voices that erewhile
Were feebly tuned perhaps to low-breathed hymns
Of solace in the chambers of the poor, —
The Sabbath-worship of the friendless sick.
Sundays observe : think, when the bells do chime,
'Tis angels' music ; therefore come not late.
God then deals blessings. If a king did so,
Who would not haste, nay give, to see the show ?
Twice on the day his due is understood ;
For all the week thy food so oft he gave thee.
Thy cheer is mended ; 'bate not of the food,
Because 'tis better, and perhaps may save thee.
Thwart not th' Almighty God: O be not cross !
Fast when thou wilt, but then, 'tis gain, not loss.
Though private prayer be a brave design,
Yet public hath more promises, more love ;
And love's a weight to hearts, to eyes a sign.
We are but cold suitors : let us move
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 81
Where it is warmest. Leave tby six and seven :
Pray with the most •, for where most pray 'tis
When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
God is more there than thou : for thou art there
Only by his permission. Then beware,
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
Kneeling ne'er spoil'd silk stocking: quit thy stete.
All equal are within the church's gate.
Resort to sermons, but to prayers most:
Praying's the end of preaching. O be drest !
Stay not for th' other pin : why, thou hast lost
A joy for it worth worlds. Thus hell doth jest
Away thy blessings, and extremely flout thee,
Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about thee*
In time of service seal up both thine eyes,
And send them to thine heart; that, spying sin,
They may weep out the stains by them did rise :
Those doors being shut, all by the ear comes in.
Who marks in church-time others' symmetry,
Makes all their beauty his deformity.
Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part :
Bring not thy plough, thy plots, thy pleasures thither.
82 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
Christ purged his temple ; so must thou thy heart.
All worldly thoughts are but thieves met together
To cozen thee. Look to thy actions well:
For churches are either our heaven or hell.
Judge not the preacher, for he is thy judge :
If thou mislike him, thou conceiv'st him not.
God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
To pick out treasures from an earthen pot.
The worst speak something good : if all want
God takes a text, and preaches patience.
He that gets patience, and the blessing which
Preachers conclude with, hath not lost his pains.
He that by being at church escapes the ditch,
Which he might fall in by companions, gains.
He that loves God's abode, and to combine
With saints on earth, shall one day with them
Jest not on preacher's language or expression :
How know'st thou but thy sins made him miscarry?
Then turn thy faults and his into confession :
God sent him, whatever he be : O tarry,
And love him for his master : his condition,
Though it be ill, makes him no ill physician.
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 83
None shall in hell such bitter pangs endure,
As those who mock at God's way of salvation.
Whom oil and balsams kill, what salve can cure ?
They drink with greediness a full damnation.
The Jews refused thunder ; and we, folly ;
Though God do hedge us in, yet who is holy !
Blest, who, their strength on thee reclined.
Thy seat explore with constant mind.
And, Salem's distant towers in view,
With active zeal their way pursue :
Secure the thirsty vale they tread,
While, call'd from out their sandy bed,
(As, down in grateful show'rs distill'd,
The heav'ns their kindliest moisture yield,)
The copious springs their steps beguile,
And bid the cheerless desert smile*
From stage to stage advancing still,
Behold them reach fair Sion's hill,
And, prostrate at her hallow'd shrine,
Adore the Majesty divine.
84 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
How sweet to leave the world awhile,
And seek the presence of our Lord !
Dear Saviour ! on thy people smile,
And come, according to thy word.
From busy scenes we now retreat,
That we may here converse with thee ;
Ah ! Lord, behold us at thy feet !
Let this the gate of heaven be.
Chief of ten thousand ! now appear,
That we by faith may see thy face ;
O speak, that we thy voice may hear,
And let thy presence fill this place !
Lord ! thou hast cast a pleasant lot
For those whom thou hast callM thine own.
*Tis true, the world esteems them not,
But thou wilt place them on thy throne.
Then let the worldling boast his joys,
We've meat to eat he knows not of ;
We count his treasures worthless toys,
While we possess a Saviour's love.
Lord, let thy people's views be dear,
And let their heart's be fiUM with love ;
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 85
Oh ! may thy light to all appear,
And prove their doctrine from above.
Saviour ! when in dust to thee,
Low we bow th> adoring knee,
When repentant to the skies
Scarce we lift our streaming eyes, —
O ! by all thy pains and woe,
Suffered once for man below,
Bending from thy throne on high,
Hear our solemn litany !
By thy helpless infant-years,
By thy life of wants and tears,
By thy days of sore distress
In the savage wilderness, —
By the dread, permitted hour
Of th ? insulting Tempter's pow'r, —
Turn, O turn a pitying eye,
Hear our solemn litany !
By the sacred griefs that wept
O'er the grave where Lazarus slept,—
By the boding tears that fiowM
Over Salem's lovM abode,—
THE SABBATH SERVICES.
By the anguish'd sigh that told
Treachery lurkM within thy fold,—
From thy seat above the sky,
Hear our solemn litany !
By thine hour of dire despair,
By thine agony of prayer, —
By the cross, the nail, the thorn,
Piercing spear, and torturing scorn,-
By the gloom that veilM the skies
O'er the dreadful sacrifice, —
Listen to our humble cry,
Hear our solemn litany!
By thy deep expiring groan,
By the sad sepulchral stone,
By the vault whose dark abode
Held in vain the rising God, —
O ! from earth to heav'n restored,
Mighty re-ascended Lord,
Listen, listen to the cry
Of our solemn litany !
THE SABBATH SERVICES. 87
How pleasant, how divinely fair,
O Lord of Hosts, thy dwellings are !
With long desire my spirit faints
To meet th* assemblies of thy saints.
My flesh would rest in thine abode ;
My panting heart cries out for God :
My God ! my King ! why should I be
So far from all my joys and thee?
The sparrow chooses where to rest,
And for her young provides her nest;
And will my God to sparrows grant
That pleasure which his children want ?
Blest are the saints who sit on high,
Around thy throne of majesty :
Thy brightest glories shine above,
And all their work is praise and love.
Blest are the souls that find a place
Within the temple of thy grace:
There they behold thy gentler rays,
And seek thy face, and learn thy praise.
Blest are the men whose hearts are set
To find the way to Zion's gate :
88 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
God is their strength, and through the road
They lean upon iheir helper, God.
Cheerful they walk with growing strength.
Till all shall meet in heaven at length,
Till all before thy face appear,
And join in nobler worship there.
Hark, how the angels sing!
Their voices fill the sky :
They hail their great victorious King,
And welcome him on high.
We'll catch the note of praise ;
Their joys in part we feel ;
With them our thankful song we'll raise,
And emulate their zeal.
Come then, ye saints! and sing
Of Christ, our risen Lord ;
Of Christ, the everlasting King,
Of Christ, th> incarnate Word.
This is the sacred theme
On which the angels dwell !
THE SABBATH SERVICES.
How pleasant should the subject seem
To sinners saved from hell !
Hail, mighty Saviour, hail !
Who filPst the throne above ;
Till heart and flesh together fail,
We'll sing thy matchless love.
And when these tongues no more
On any theme can move,
We hope to sing thy love and power,
With other tongues above.
My soul ! how lovely is the place,
To which the Lord resorts !
'Tis heaven to see his smiling face,
Tho' in his earthly courts.
There the great Monarch of the Skies
His saving power displays,
And light breaks in upon our eyes,
With kind and quickening rays.
With his rich gifts the Heav'nly Dove
Descends and fills the place,
90 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
While Christ reveals his wond'rous love
And sheds abroad his grace.
There, mighty God ! thy words declare
The secrets of thy will ;
And still we seek thy mercy there,
And sing thy praises still.
Then, slowly rising suppliant, to heaven
The minister lifts up his hands on high ;
Rich with the light that ages past have given,
The fires of genius brighten in his eye ;
But on his brow sits meek humility,
With holy lov^, and awful reverence joined,
In sight of Him who, bending from the sky,
Beholds the humble soul with aspect kind,
But still, contemptuous, spurns the self-elated mind.
By him, to God their joint petitions rise,
Their guilt, with deep contrition, they confess,
And humbly pray that He would turn his eyes
Upon them, in the dear Redeemer's face ; —
That face divine, that once in vile disgrace
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Was marred, that guilty man might be restored
From Satan's grasp — from yawning hell's embrace,
Once more to bear the likeness of their Lord,
And in a loftier strain His matchless love record.
Chased and wounded birds are we,
Through the dark air fled to thee,
To the shadow of thy wings.
Lord of Lords ! and King of Kings !
There's a refuge of peace from the tempests that
From the dark clouds that threaten, the storm wind
A holy, a sweet, and a lovely retreat,
A spring of refreshment, a place of repose :
'Tis the House of my God — 'tis the dwelling of
'Tis the temple, all hallow'd by blessing and praise;
If sorrow and faithlessness conquer me, there
My heart to the throne of his grace I can raise !
92 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
There comfort, refreshing, and teaching are found.
The communion of saints, the remembrance of
There's something of heaven in all that's around,
There's something consoling in all that we see !
There's something that speaks of a future of peace.
For the pilgrim a house and a long desired shore ;
Where all that on earth has perplex'd him shall cease,
And anguish and grief shall attack him no more !
How did my heart rejoice to hear
My friends devoutly say,
" In Zion let us all appear,
" And keep the solemn day !' ;
I love her gates, I love the road ;
The church, adorned with grace,
Stands like a palace built for God
To shew his milder face.
Up to her courts, with joys unknown,
The holy tribes repair ;
The Son of David holds his throne,
And sits in judgment there.
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He hears our praises and complaints ;
And, while his awful voice
Divides the sinners from the saints,
We tremble and rejoice.
Peace be within this sacred place,
And joy a constant guest !
With holy gifts and heavenly grace
Be her attendants blest !
My soul shall pray for Zion still,
. While life or breath remains ;
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Saviour reigns.
! wilt Thou dwell with men on earth — *
iTith beings of so mean a birth ?
ie heaven of heavens, where thou dost reign,
inot thy majesty contain :
Much less the lowly roofs we raise: —
A scanty tribute to thy boundless praise.
* 2 Chron. vi. 18.
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There are — Oh ! spare my feeble sight,
That cannot bear unmingled light ! —
Cherub and mighty Seraph found —
In radiant glory blazing round —
Encircling, Lord ! thy sapphire throne,
Their love, their praise, their service all thine own.
Wing'd by the wind — the clouds thy car —
Thou visitest each distant star.
A galaxy of suns record
Thy wonder-teeming ways, O Lord !
The Universe, with one acclaim,
Echoes Jehovah's everlasting name.
No voice untun'd — no harp unstrung,
Where'er thy matchless praise is sung.
Ten thousand times ten thousand rise —
Myriads of myriads throng the skies —
Worlds above worlds the chorus join,
And every sounding chord and note are Thine.
Thou High and Lofty One, afar,
Beyond creation's farthest star —
Inhabiting Eternity — the high
And holy palace of the sky ; —
Am not I sunk too low, for Thee
To stoop to visit, and to dwell with me?
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A still small whisper answers, " No :
My chosen dwelling is below.
Within the contrite spirit's breast,
'Mid tears and sighs, T love to rest ;
And he, who trembles at my word,
In praise and supplication shall be heard."
Here, then, amidst thy temple, Lord !
I wait to hear and learn thy word.
The sacrifice of prayer I bring,
Accept ; — and listen, while I sing
The glory of redeeming love,
And tune my harp for higher strains above.
No temple there its ample gate
Opes to receive the throngs, who wait
In adoration at thy feet :
Of all the multitudes that meet
From ev'ry tribe, from ev'ry clime,
Thou art thyself the temple and the shrine.
No feeble taper there shall gleam ;
Nor waning moon, her pallid beam,
Shall fling upon the vault of night ;
Nor shall the sun's meridian light
Blaze on the scene : thy glory's ray
Shall kindle round new skies a brighter day.
96 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
O Saviour ! when, admitted there,
Thy triumphs and thy throne I share,
Pure as the light my praise shall rise
A sempiternal sacrifice :
And, ( through the ages all along '
Thy dying love shall be my deathless song,
Lord, when we bend before thy throne,
And our confessions pour,
Teach us to feel the sins we own,
And shun what we deplore.
Our contrite spirits pitying see,
And penitence impart ;
And let a healing ray from thee
Beam hope upon the heart.
When our responsive tongues essay
Their grateful songs to raise ;
Grant that our souls may join the lay,
And rise to thee in praise.
When we disclose our wants in prayer,
May we our wills resign ;
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And not a thought our bosom share,
Which is not wholly thine.
Let faith each meek petition fill,
And waft it to the skies ;
And teach our hearts 'tis goodness still
That grants it or denies.
How honoured, how dear,
That sacred abode,
Where Christians draw near
Their Father and God!
? Mid worldly commotion,
My wearied soul faints
For the house of devotion,
The home of thy saints.
The birds have their home:
They fix on their nest ;
W T herever they roam,
They return to their rest.
From them fondly learning,
My soul would take wing ;
To thee so returning,
My God and my King !
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O happy the choirs
Who praise thee above !
What joy tunes their lyres I
Their worship is love.
Yet safe in thy keeping,
And happy they be,
In this world of weeping,
Whose strength is in thee.
Though rugged their path way.
They drink, as they go,
Of springs that convey
New life as they flow.
The God ihey rely on,
Their strength shall renew.
Till each brought to Zion
His glory shall view.
Thou Hearer of pray'r,
Still grant me a place,
Where Christians repair
To the courts of thy grace I
>Iore blest beyond measure
One day so employed,
Than years of vain pleasure
By worldlings enjoy -d.
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Me more would it please
Keeping post at thy gate,
Than lying at ease
In chambers of state.
The meanest condition
Outshines, with thy smiles,
The pomp of ambition,
The world with its wiles.
The Lord is a sun :
The Lord is a shield.
What Grace has begun,
With glory is seal'd.
He hears the distressed :
He succours the just :
And they shall be blessed
Who make him their trust.
Give glory unto God on high !
To Him who arch'd the vaulted sky ;
Who mighty Earth's circumference spannM,
And weigh'd its waters in his hand ;
Who form'd the countless orbs that gem
Dark Night's resplendent diadem ;
100 THE SABBATH SERVICES,
Gave life unto each living thing ;
Created man their earthly king ;
Then gave his Son for man to die : —
Give glory unto God on high.
Give glory to the Son, who came
Cloth'd in our fleshly, mortal frame ;
Who bore our sins, vouchsafed to give
Himself to die, that we might live ;
Who — holy, harmless, undefiled,
Was patient — spurnM, was dumb — revil'd ;
Who, in the agonies of death,
Pour'd for his foes his parting breath ;
Was perfect God and man in one : —
Give glory to the Incarnate Son I
Give glory to the Holy Ghost !
Who, on the day of Pentecost,
From heaven to earth in mercy came,
Descending as in tongues of flame ;
The promised Comforter and Guide,
Through w horn the soul is sanctified }
Who still is manifest within
To prompt to good, convict of sin ; —
Ye saints on earth, ye heavenly host,
Give glory to the Holy Ghost,
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Join all on earth, in heaven above,
In honour, blessing, glory, love !
Sing praises to the great I AM ;
Sing praises to the spotless Lamb ;
Sing praises to that Power Divine
Who sanctifies the inner shrine ;
That so the Father's glorious name
All creatures hallowM may proclaim ;
And, through the Spirit shed abroad,
Confess that Jesu3 Christ is Lord !
Though Reason gives not finite man
Divine infinitude to scan,
Yet man may his Creator own —
May bow before a Saviour's throne;
The Comforter with awe receive ;
Their true Divinity believe ;
And while he chants the Father's love,
Who sends the Spirit from above
To win dominion for the Son —
With joy confess that God is One !
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How meet the service, when the solemn hour
Calls to the house of prayer, God's earthly courts !
How dear th' assembled family of heav'n,
All children of one father, round the throne
Presenting large their wants, with joint address,
By the loved Lord, their elder brother's hands !
How swift to waft the hymn of grateful praise,
Loud melody of Sion, and attend
The gracious Preacher, dropping manna down,
The bread of craving souls. O fix me then !— ■
The heavenly dew thick showering round my tent —
Not in the form of light philosophy ;
Those metaphysic figments crude and bold,
The Stagyrite's dogma, or Platonic dream ;
Root to foul heresies of eldest growth !
Nor seat me, listening in attention waste
On windy sounds, the rhetorician's charm ;
Or modish reasoner's proud theology :
Where the mere moral lesson aims to sooth
With eloquence the vainly-curious ear.
Dead, tasteless letter ; which the heathen school
Of Seneca, or Tully, better teach,
Than modern oratory dares to boast.
But place me where the true Evangelist,
Christ's minister, the Gospel page unfolds,
Full of experience; where the piercing word
May find the sinner's pride, and lay him deep
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In humbling terrors of the killing law.
Then faith, repentance then, both gifts of Heaven,
Once deenrd so easy, seem his hardest task.
Conviction gives no power to conquer sin,
The work of grace alone ; this lets him see
His danger, wants, dependence, weakness, strength.
Fresh from the stores of sovereign, healing love
The blood of Jesus, ease-renewing balm
To wounded hearts, the kind physician brings,
A welcom'd cure ; and lets the offender know —
Led through his struggles of the second birth —
Life pleading faith, that justifying act,
An empty hand to clasp a tendered gift —
Faith, in its object's merit, not its own,
Shall win his pardon with th> indulgent King:
His pardon ample, everlasting, free ;
That can, ere works, the ungodly justify,
Yet God be just : Christ's royal donative,
His, made by purchase, all by gift made ours.
Free, to the chief of sinners, to the brand
Half-burning pluck'd from hell: so large his boon
To man, though loaded with the worst of crimes.
O root of hope ! O proof of heavenly grace,
Too inconceivable for worms below !
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Sweet is the day for worship set apart,
To those who thus assemble ! On the smiles
Of Love Omnipotent, at once they feast ;
And for those smiles with one accord give thanks.
They love the hours that bring that welcome morn.
And joyfully salute the dawning light
That calls them from their rest to seek the Lord.
- Glory 9 s dawn,
And emblem is this sacred day of rest.
The faint and weary then their strength renew.
And mount to glory as on eagle's wings ;
Fresh as the morning dews, and swift as light,
Their heavenly race unwearied they pursue ;
And, without fainting, walk in duty's path.
These are the courts Jehovah keeps below,
Where often on his children he bestows
Rich earnest of eternal life to come,
And precious tokens of his present care.
Go, stranger — walk the stately city round ;
Mark well her bulwarks, count her lofty towers,
And to the generations yet unborn
Transmit a just account. Her gates are praise ;
Her walls are strong salvation, founded deep
On God's immutable decrees of grace,
And raised beyond the flight of creature thought.
Her steadfast bulwarks, with omnipotence
Are girt about ; and, with paternal love
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Closely cemented is each precious stone
That joins the stately structure to compose.
A river, flowing with eternal grace,
Supplies her blest inhabitants with streams
Of solid peace, which they with gladness drink,
And shout her joys aloud through all her gates.
Her lovely gates, on either side are placed :
For entrance into fellowship the one ;
The other for translation to the skies.
All those who enter come with grateful notes,
Adoring, as they pass, the matchless power,
That saves them from destruction's op'ning gulf;
And those who leave her courts below, to dwell
For ever in her palaces above,
Oft, as in love's bright chariot they ascend,
Shout to the heavens above and earth beneath,
And tell two worlds at once the bliss they feel !
Our souls with pleasing wonder view
The bounties of thy grace ;
How much bestow'd I how much reservM
l?or them that seek thy face !
Thy liVral hand with worldly bliss
Oft makes their cup run o'er ;
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And in the cov'nant of thy love
They find diviner store.
Here mercy hides their nunv'rous sins ;
Here grace their souls renews ;
Here thy own reconciled face
Doth heavenly beams diffuse.
But O ! what treasures yet unknown
Are lodgM in worlds to come!
If these th' enjoyments of the way,
How happy is the home I
Since time's too short, all gracious God,
To utter half thy praise,
Lord, to the honour of thy name
Eternal hymns we'll raise.
Frequent the day of God returns
To shed its quickening beams :
And yet how slow devotion burns !
How languid are its flames !
Increase, O Lord, our faith and hope,
And fit us to ascend,
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Where the assembly ne'er breaks up,
The Sabbath ne'er will end.
Where we shall breathe in heav'nly air,
With heav'nly lustres shine ;
Before the throne of God appear>
And feast on love divine.
Where we, in high seraphic strains,
Shall ail our powers employ ;
Delighted range th' ethereal plains,
And take our fill of joy.
The Preacher's merit rate not by thine ear>
His phrase, his accent : —
To truth thy reverence pay, and not its dress ;
Esteem him for his embassy : the blame
Of miss'd improvement oft'nest is our own.
Mere planters are Apollos and a Paul ;
Growth is the Spirit's gift, his virtual act
Alone ; his vital, germinating dew
Shed in the soul ; his influential beam.
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Father of Mercies ! we have need
Of thy preparing grace ;
Let the same hand that gives the seed,
Provide a fruitful place.
Sweet is the song of praise f
Though all that mortals know,
The sweetest notes they raise
Are faint, and poor, and low.
The hymn from tongues of clay
Has scarce a heavenly tone ;
Earth steals the heart away,
And claims it for her own.
The seraph's tongue of fire
Has music more sublime ;
Eternal notes are higher
Than all the notes of time.
But years flow swiftly by ;
Our stay will not be long ;
And we shall pass on high,
To join th' eternal song.
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Arise, my tend'rest thoughts, arise ;
To torrents melt my streaming eyes ;
And thou, my heart, with anguish feel
Those evils which thou canst not heal.
See human nature sunk in shame ;
See scandals pour'd on Jesus' name ;
The Father wounded thro' the Son,
The world abused, the soul undone.
See the short course of vain delight
Closing in everlasting night ;
In flames that no abatement know,
Tho' briny tears for ever flow.
My God, I feel the mournful scene ;
My bowels yearn o'er dying men ;
And fain my pity would reclaim,
And snatch the firebrands from the flame.
But feeble my compassion proves,
And can but weep, where most it loves;
Thy own all-saving arm employ,
And turn these drops of grief to joy.
110 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
O Lord, our languid souls inspire,
For here, we trust, thou art !
Send down a coal of heavenly fire,
To warm each waiting heart.
Dear Shepherd of thy people, hear,
Thy presence now display ;
As thou hast given a house for prayer,
So give us hearts to pray.
Shew us some token of thy love,
Our fainiing hope to raise ;
And pour thy blessings from above,
That we may render praise.
May we in faith receive thy word,
In faith present our prayers;
And, in the bosom of our Lord,
Unbosom all our cares.
And may the GospePs joyful sound,
Enforced by mighty grace,
Awaken many sinners round
To come and fill the place.
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Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish,
Come, at the shrine of God, fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,
Hope, when all others die, fadeless and pure,
Here speaks the Comforter, in God's name, saying —
" Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure."
Go, ask the infidel, what boon he brings us,
What charm for aching hearts he can reveal,
Sweet as that heavenly promise Hope sings us —
" Earth has no sorrow that God cannot heal."
" Lo, I am with you always to the end ;
Where two or three are gatherM, I am there :"
Invisible, yet present; not the less
Than when amidst that little band, convened
Within the guarded chamber, sudden stood
Their Lord, new ris'n, with well-known voice of
' Peace.' Grinfield.
112 THE SABBATH SERVICES.
As one, in days of old, would fly
To some protecting shrine
From dread pursuers threatening nigh,
And, panting, there recline,
Lord, to thy dwelling I repair,
And cling around thine altar there!
Or, as the swallow, chased away
From cruel man's abode,
Beneath thy sacred walls will lay
Her cherishM young, O God !
So there I oft that peace obtain,
Which elsewhere I have sought in vain.
When shelter'd safe, well pleasM we hear
The waves and tempest roar,
And raging winds without, endear
The warmth within the more ;
Oh, thus I feel, from peril free,
Retired within thy sanctuary.
Or it might seem as if my boat
O'er raging seas had past,
And calmly were allow'd to float
To some bright isle at last,
There to refit the shatter'd sail,
Ere yet again she tempt the gale.
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The world's tempestuous ocean dark
Around still foams and swells,
But thou art as the happy ark
Where only safety dwells ;
And Peace, who skims that troubled sea,
Returns her olive-branch to thee.
Farewell, thou dark and stormy world ;
Farewell, thy grief and fear ;
The port is won, the sails are furlM,
Ye cannot toucli me here !
But welcome, peace and rapture, now,
And, O my Saviour, welcome Thou !
God in his temple let us meet,
Low on our knees before him bend ;
Here hath he fix'd his mercy seat,
Here on his Sabbath we attend.
Arise into thy resting place,
Thou, and thine ark of strength, O Lord !
Shine thro' the veil, we seek thy face ;
Speak, for we hearken to thy word.
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With righteousness thy Priests array ;
Joyful thy chosen people be ;
Let those who teach and those who pray,
Let all — be holiness to Thee.
The solemn work is over — hear ! the Priest,
With awful mien, and lips of grace pronounce
The parting benediction. — But is all,
All ended here? Is now the vacant time
For trifiing visits — for the vain discourse
Of worldly friends? by nearer interests claimed,
The calls, domestic, of entrusted souls.
The soft companion of thy life's vow'd hours,
Where, where is she — thy other dearer self?
Where her lov-d offspring — wedlock's sweetest bonds,
Pledges of mutual faith, of chastest joys ?
Invite them round thee by a father's voice,
That voice of mildest, soft authority.
Examine, teach, exhort them, warn, reprove.
Their instrument of being, ah ! be mov'd,
Be rous'd, be arduous for their highest weal.
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The Preacher's task is done — but wilt thou go?
Go yet so soon? from thy best blessings haste?
Lo ! that rich table ! where the bread of life,
Spread by all-pitying goodness, open stands
To wretches famished with sin-pining wants:
Lost prodigals, with favour welcomed home.
The King himself is entered ; from his host
Of prostrate angels that more distant wait,
How gracious, see ! he moves to mortal friends !
How kindly, hark ! to every guest he calls !
Ah ! wherefore wouldst thou fly ? He calls to thee,
Poor trembling sinner, pale with causeless fears.
To thee, heart-humbled publican, self-deem'd
Unfit, un worthiest, welcome therefore most.
Stay — thy mild Sovereign bids thee— taste his feast,
Will'd thee by love, his dying, dear command.
The bread is blest : reach forth thy thankful hand
And take — " memorial of thy dying Lord."
Sacrifical remembrance of the price,
Our ransom ; paid in blood for deadliest guilt.
1]6 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
Oh ! hide thy shame-spread face, and turn thine eyes
In mournful retrospect to Calv'ry now :
Back to the garden, to the dolorous ground,
Grief-moistened with his blood-sweat agony.
Ah ! what that agony ? — ah ! felt for whom?
Say, Angel! near him then, that heard, beheld,
Thy humbled Maker, agoniz'd thyself,
What? — but thou canst not say!--no thought can
Of man or angel that profound of pains.
'Twas his soul's travail, sorrow's sharpest throe,
'Twas love's delivery of a new-born world,
Miraculous ! from dead now living born —
Fix, meditation ! still, thy tear-brimmed eye !
From earth he rises, rise and follow thou
Thy Jesus still, though left of every friend,
To Annas', Herod's, Pilate's guilty hall,
His triple cavalcade of solemn scorn.
Oh ! through what straits of shifting pageant woes
Slow, ling'ring, studied miseries ! matchless all!
Stoop'd thou to sufferings, patient Son of God!
How meek he stands the charge of venal tongues,
Lamb-like before bis cruel shearers dumb,
But ah ! behold him now ! behold him bound,
Though faultless own'd by his unrighteous judge !
Abused by buffeting*;, by taunts, that loud
His dread omniscience dare, with scourges torn ;
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 117
To injuries, mocking joined, and rude contempt,
His sceptre reed, and bloody thorny crown.
Ah ! still behold, if thou canst bear the view,
See, thy dear sacrifice, beneath his cross
Like typeal Isaac, bending with its weight!
Merciless ! all fainting, to the baleful tree
They nail my Jesus ! — left to bitterest woes,
And dereliction! sport of hellish Jews. —
Ah ! brand not Jews, our sins procuring cause —
Thy sins, believer ! wrought his change of w r oes,
Thy sins and mine ! these forc'd his sanguine sweat,
Rent him with stripes, fixed deep the bloody thorn,
MarkM him with blows, exposed his sacred face
To shame and spitting ; drove the wounding nails
Deep-torturing, in his streaming feet and hands:
Thrust through his spear-pierced heart the murdering
And urged his soul to pains— to cries — to death !
Still, mercy w r aits thee. — Take " the saving cup/'
To him, of bitterest sorrows, filPd with wrath ;
To thee, of rich redemption, dearly bought.
Blessings assured ; the covenant in his blood
Sealed with the Father. He, to be a God,
To thee a God, all-comprehending tie :
Thou, to be his, devoted : happiest bond !
Drink — the sweet pledge of union, sonship, bliss.
O cordial ! felt mysterious in the soul !
118 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
Law, dreadful Justice, conscience, Satan, guilt,
All silenced by one draught from Jesus' love !
Go, Christian ! with th' endearing pledges seaPd
Fresh on thy soul, resembling pattern show
How Jesds livM ; thy lovM and loving Lord.
Go, copy his humility, his zeal
To glorify his Father, his contempt
Of vain, base earth ; disciple of his cross.
Ye to Sion are invited,
Scene of love, by Jesus trod ;
Ye in Salem dwell delighted,
Heavenly city of our God ;
Join th' innumerable legions
Of the high angelic race,
Oft commissioned from their regions
On sweet ministries of grace ;
Join the general congregation
Of the first born, heirs of light ;
In the volume of salvation
Every name is written bright.
Yea to God, the Judge eternal,
Ye approach with holy trust ;
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And to those, in bliss supernal,
Perfect spirits of the just :
Yea to Him, the Mediator
Of that covenanted plan,
Lovelier than the first, as later ;
Ye are come — to God in man !
Come to that dear blood of Jesus,
Sprinkled on the heart, which speaks
Better things than Abel's ; frees us
From the curse that justice wreaks; —
Better things than Abel's offering ;
Since those sacrifices old
Did but shadow forth the suffering
Of the Lamb we now behold.
If human kindness meets return,
And owns the grateful tie ;
If tender thoughts within us burn,
To feel a friend is nigh :
O ! shall not warmer accents tell,
The gratitude we owe
120 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
To Him, who died our fears to quell,
Our more than orphan's woe !
While yet his anguish'd soul surveyed
Those pangs he would not flee ;
What love his latest words displayed —
" Meet, and remember me ! M
Remember Thee! thy death, thy shame,
Our sinful hearts to share !
O mem'ry, leave no other name
But His, recorded there.
Thine is Redemption !
Redemption ! 'twas creation more sublime ;
Redemption ! 'twas the labour of the skies :
Far more than labour — it was death in heav'n.
A truth so strange, 'twere bold to think it true,
If not far bolder still to disbelieve.
Here pause and wonder. Was there death in heaven?
What then on earth ? On earth, which struck the blow ?
Who struck it ? Who ?
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 121
Hail day of days most welcome ! on thy morn
The Sabbath of all Sabbaths seems to dawn.
Thy kindly sun flings brighter radiance down,
And scarcely seems thy darkest clouds to frown.
Wide stands the pearl-wrought portal of the skies,
Visions celestial visit mortal eyes :
A Lamb that had been slain ! I gladly own
My sin's late victim ; and before his throne
Fall prostrate down, avow my heinous guilt,
And wash me in the blood my sin has spilt.
Blood of my God ! Redemption's precious cost —
The ransom of a world, self- bartered, lost,
And sinking to its fate. Thine too, my soul !
Thy ransom, reckoned in the mighty whole
That set the multitude unnumber'd free
From sin's dread thrall, and gave us liberty —
The liberty of sons — the sons of God.
Come, meekly trace the awful path He trod !
Review the garden of Gethsemane,
The Judgment-hall, and mournful Calvary !
Exceeding sorrow, even unto death,
Oppress'd his soul. A groan was every breath.
Great drops of blood his reeking vestment drench'd,
His hands in bitterness of woe were clench'd.
In agony he prays, while others sleep,
Too weak their weary flesh to watch and weep.
122 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
" My Father ! O my Father ! can it be?
This cup of trembling, may it pass from me ?
Yet not as I will — let thy will be done !
Now glorify thy name, and glorify thy Son l«V
That cup ! — that cup of wrath was thine, my soul y
And thine for ever, but he drank the whole.
That horror of great darkness, that exprest
The life drops from his agonizing breast,
When guiltless, standing in the guilty's room,
Was thine appointed, everlasting doom.
I've seen a sheep before her shearer's stand,
Dumb — motionless— Pve seen her lick the hand
About to shed her blood. 'Twas thus he stood
Amid the throng that thirsted for his blood.
Silence was on his lips ; and on his brow
Sat calm submission, even when the plough
Of cruel scourging furrowM deep and long
His meekly bended form. He was the song
Of drunkards, to whose lofty praise were strung
Ten thousand times ten thousand harps, when sung
The sons of God, and every morning star.
Behold Him ! — led from prison, and the bar
Of judgment most unrighteous. O my soul !
Canst thou the passions of thy breast control
In cold and chilling, tearless apathy,
At sufFrings nameless, and endured for thee ?
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 123
When angels wept, man heard unmoved the tale.
The rocks were less obdurate, and the veil
More quickly rent than human hearts, at woe
Unparalleled. Flow, flow, my sorrows ! flow
In floods of anguish at the Saviour's feet.
See ! where He comes, his final hour to meet !
Weary and faint, bow'd down beneath his load,
Yet forced to speed along the blood-stainM road.
11 Weep not for me," Then, Saviour ! weep for
" Thyself ! Thyself ! thy sin has cut my tomb
In yonder rock , and thy transgressions fill
The chalice I shall drink on Calv'ry's hill."
He bleeds ! suspended between earth and sky,
No earthly friend, nor Heavenly Father nigh.
Forsaken and disowned, He bows his head,
Yields up his life, and dwells among the dead : —
Is numbered with transgressors in his grave.
Others he saved, himself he cannot save.
Faith reads the mystery in revealed light :
Mourns, and yet hails exultingly the sight.
She sees, concealed beneath that dread disguise
Of rending mountains and benighted skies,
The rock of ages cleft — a fountain flow
To cleanse away her guilt and heal her woe.
Behold, He bursts the barriers of the grave 1
Almighty once to suffer, now to save.
124 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
The seal — the guard in vain forbad his rise :
He reascended to his native skies.
Life is too short thy boundless praise to sing.
My once abased, my ever-glorious King !
In fellowship with thee I'd suffer still :
In every lot submit me to thy will.
Till, pass'd the wilderness of sin and pain,
With thee I triumph, and with thee I reign.
Upon that night the Saviour blest,
At first, the sacramental board ;
Lowly and humble was each guest,
Poor contrite followers of their Lord \
Mean was the room, and poor the fare,
Few were the friends that sat beside ;
Their Master, who presided there,
Departed to be crucified !
But Faith can see a glory glow
Amidst these earthly hnmble things ;
That meek and lowly man of woe
Was Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 125
And from that solemn hour till now,
Has poverty been mostly theirs ;
Like His, the thorns have piercM their brow —
Like His, their soul is vexM with cares.
But ev'ry humble saint who here,
With Him the lowly path-way trod,
In yonder bright and heavenly sphere,
Shall be a King and Priest to God !
For guilt, not innocence, his life he pourM ;
>Tis guilt alone can justify his death ;
Nor that, unless his death can justify
Relenting guilt in Heav'ns indulgent sight.
If, sick of folly, I relent, he writes
My name in heav'n with that inverted spear
(A spear deep-dipt in blood!) which piercM his side,
And openM there a font for all mankind,
Who strive, who combat sin, to drink and live :
This, only this, subdues the fear of death.
And what is this ! Survey the wond'rous cure,
And at each step let higher wonder rise !
Pardon for infinite offence ! and pardon
Thro ? means that speak its value infinite !
126 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
A pardon bought with blood ! with blood divine !
With blood divine of Him I made my foe !
Persisted to provoke! tho> woo'd and aw'd,
Blest and chastis'd, a flagrant rebel still !
A rebel 'midst the thunders of his throne !
Nor I alone — a rebel universe !
My species up in arms, not one exempt !
Yet for the foulest of the foul he dies ;
Most joy'd for the redeem'd from deepest guilt !
As if our race were held of higher rank,
And Godhead dearer as more kind to man !
Bound ev'ry heart, and ev'ry bosom burn !
O what a scale of miracles is here !
Its lowest round high planted in the skies !
Its towering summit lost beyond the thought
Of man or angel ! Oh that I could climb
The wonderful ascent with equal praise !
Praise ! flow for ever (if astonishment
Will give thee leave) my praise, for ever flow ;
Praise ardent, cordial, constant, to high heav'n
More fragrant than Arabia sacrificed,
And all her spicy mountains in a flame.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 127
Oh ! never, never canst thou know
What then for thee the Saviour bore,
The pangs of that mysterious woe
That wrung his frame at every pore,
The weight that press'd upon his brow
The fever of his bosom's core!
Yes ! man for man, perchance, may brave
The horrors of the yawning grave ;
And friend for friend, or child for sire.
Undaunted and unmoved expire,
From love — or piety — or pride ;
But who can die as Jesus died?
A sweet, but solitary beam,
An emanation from above,
Glimmers o'er life's uncertain dream —
We hail that beam, and call it love!
But fainter than the pale star's ray
Before the noontide blaze of day,
And lighter than the viewless sand
Beneath the wave that sweeps the strand,
Is all of love that man can know —
All that in angel breasts can glow,
Compar'd, O Lord of Hosts ! with thine,
Eternal, fathomless, divine I
128 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
That love, whose praise, with quenchless fire,
Inflames the blest seraphic choir :
Where perfect rapture reigns above,
And love is all — for thou art Love.
There is a sacred, hallowed spot,
Oft present to my eye ;
By saints it ne'er can be forgot —
'Tis much lov'd Calvary.
Eventful Mount ! oh, what a scene
Of love and agony
Was there displayed, when Christ was seen
Suffering on Calvary.
'Twas there he vanquished hell and death ;
And, with a conqu'ror's cry,
(" Tis finished/') he resigned his breath
On much lov'd Calvary.
Endeared Mount ! for earthly joys
Let others pass thee by ;
Earth's transient scenes and fading toys
I'll leave for Calvary.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 129
When fainting under guilt's dread load,
Then to the Cross I'll fly ;
And trust the merit of that blood
Which flows from Calvary.
Whene'er I feel temptation's power,
On Jesus I'll rely :
And, in the sharp conflicting hour,
Repair to Calvary.
And when around the feast of love,
Then will T fix mine eye
On Him, who intercedes above,
Who bled on Calvary.
When the dread scene of death, the last
Important hour draws nigh,
Then, with my dying eyes, I'll cast
A look on Calvary.
As the child of thy bounty, I come to be fed ;
My soul has been famished and weary before ;
But now to green pastures my footsteps are led,
I shall faint and be hungry and thirsty no more.
130 THE SABRATH FESTIVAL.
Never did Justice on her brow a frown
Wear so unyielding, nor an heart so firm
Display, to punish with impartial hand
Sin where she found it, as when, through the soul
Of man's Redeemer, her avenging sword
She plunged vindictive ; till each vital stream
Was dry, and life before her dreadful face
Fled from its sinless dwelling.
Never did Mercy so divinely shine,
As when on Calvary she sat enthroned,
While Judgment placed the sceptre in her hand,
And smiled in crimson robes !
Religion ! thou the soul of happiness,
And, groaning Calvary, of thee ! There shine
The noblest truths ; there strongest motives sting ;
There sacred violence assaults the soul;
There nothing but compulsion is forborn.
Can love allure us ? or can terror awe ?
He weeps ! — the falling drop puts out the sun.
He sighs ! — the sigh, earth's deep foundation shakes.
If in his love so terrible, what then
His wrath inflamM ? His tenderness on fire ;
Like soft smooth oil, outblazing other fires?
Can pray'r, can praise, avert it ? — Thou, my all !
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 131
My theme ! my inspiration ! and my crown !
My strength in age! my rise in low estate!
My soul's ambition, pleasure, wealth ! my world !
My light in darkness ! and my life in death!
My boast in time ! bliss through eternity !
Eternity, too short to speak thy praise,
Or fathom thy profound of love to man !
To man of men the meanest, ev'n to me ;
My sacrifice ! my God ! — what things are these ?
O turn on yonder faded form your eyes,
Oppressed with sorrow, and consumed in sighs !
Mark that pale brow, with streaming blood embrued,
Where resignation bends with fortitude ;
Those lips in inward prayer that gently move ;
Those eyes, yet beaming with unconquer'd love ;
The meek composure which those looks declare,
That holy calm ; and say if guilt be there ?
O love unbounded, more than words can tell,
Though hymning angels on the theme should dwell :
Not to one people, not one age confined,
But flowing over on to all mankind !
See on the Cross those limbs in torture hang,
Convuls'd, and quiv'ring with the deathful pang!
132 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL,
A deeper sorrow dwells upon that face,
Than pain's severest agony could trace ;
E'en now his spirit mourns Creation's woes,
And breathes compassion for his cruel foes.
See, by a world's united crimes opprest,
He bows his head submissive on his breast.
Now fades the light from those expiring eyes,
And Judah's King — her Lord — her Saviour dies !
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee !
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flow'd,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power !
Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfil the law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow,
All for sin could not atone,
Thou must save, and thou alone !
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy Cross I cling *,
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 133
Naked, come to thee for dress:
Helpless, look to thee for grace ;
Foul, I to the fountain fly ;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar to world's unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft, for me,
Let me hide myself in thee !
To man the bleeding cross has promised all ;
The bleeding cross has sworn eternal grace.
Who gave his life, what grace shall he deny ?
From Calvary a cry was heard,
A long reiterated cry :
My Saviour ! every mournful word
Bespeaks thy soul's deep agony.
A horror of great darkness fell
On thee, the Immaculate, the Just ;
334 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
The congregated hosts of hell
Combined to shake thy filial trust.
The scourge, the thorns, the deep disgrace,
These thou could'st bear, and not repine ;
But when Jehovah veiled his face,
Unutterable pangs were thine*
Let the dumb world her silence break ;
Let pealing anthems rend the sky ;
Awake, my sluggish soul, awake !
He died, that we may never die !
Lord, on thy cross I fix my eye ;
If e'er I slight its pure control,
O let that dying, piercing cry
Melt and reclaim my wandering soul !
» •••* The Cross!
There and there only (though the deist rave,
And Athiest, if earth bear so base a slave;)
There and there only is the power to save.
There no delusive hope invites despair ;
No mockery meets you, no deception there.
The spells and charms, that blinded you before,
All vanish there, and fascinate no more.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 135
Here died the Saviour — and here die the sins
Of all who view him with an eye of faith.
Yea, Death himself, with all his ghastly train
Of horrors, at the cross of Christ expires.
The sting of Death is sin, the strength of sin
Is the condemning law's tremendous curse :
But Christ has borne the curse of guilt away,
And spoilM the monster of his piercing sting.
O come, thou wounded Lamb of God,
Wash us in thine atoning blood :
O let us know thy dying love,
Then welcome life or death will prove.
How can it be, O heavenly King,
That thou shouldst man to glory bring ?
Make slaves the partners of thy throne,
DeckM with a never fading crown ?
Ah ! Lord enlarge our scanty thought
To know the wonders thou hast wrought ;
And our enfeebled powers extend,
Thy wondrous grace to comprehend.
136 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
Expand our hearts ; but let them be
For ever clos'd to all but thee ;
Our souls with thine own spirit seal,
And there thy glorious self reveal.
Thou, Jesus, canst my sins forgive;
Thou canst remove th> enormous load;
>Tis thine to bid the guilty live,
And bring the wand'rer back to God.
Here, at thy feet, behold I lie !
Is there not pardon e'en for me?
Jesus, in mercy now pass by,
And let me thy salvation see !
At thine approach the tempter flies ;
Thy presence turns the night to day :
Let thy bright beams on me arise,
And chase the shades of death away.
O may my mouth be fill'd with joy,
My tongue declare thy boundless praise ;
Mercy my feeble songs employ,
Till calPd to join in heavenly lays.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 137
This is the feast of heavenly wine,
And God invites to sup ;
The juices of the living vine
Were pressed to fill the cup.
Oh bless the Saviour, ye that eat,
With royal dainties fed ;
Not heaven a£:.>rds a costlier treat,
For Jesus is the bread.
The vile, the I ost, he calls to them,
Ye trembling souls, appear!
The righteous in their own esteem
Have no acceptance here.
Approach, ye poor, nor dare refuse
The banquet spread for you ;
Dear Saviour, this is welcome news,
Then I may venture too.
If guilt and sin afford a plea,
And may obtain a place,
Surely the Lord will welcome me,
And I shall see his face.
138 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
This is the light which shines from heav'n to eart
And shews the only way from earth to heaven :
Jesus the Surety, answers God the Judge :
Jesus the spotless Lamb, once sacrificed,
The sacred Altar and the Holy Priest,
Stands in Jehovah's presence as the Way,
The Truth, and Life, in one. Whoever comes
To Mercy's door in his prevailing name,
And asks admittance for his name alone,
Shall find access to God within the vail,
And entrance into life. Draw near, my soul,
The door stands open to the eye of faith.
Here seek forgiveness ; and the peace of God,
Like precious balm, diffusing health of soul,
Will heal thy conscience of the wounds of sin.
Here seek acceptance, and his righteousness,
Clothing thy person as a princely robe,
Shall clothe thee for the royal court of heaven.
Let me dwell in Golgotha!
Weep and love my life away :
While I see him on the tree,
Weep, and bleed, and die for me !
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 139
That dear blood, for sinners spilt,
Shews my sin in all its guilt :
Ah ! my soul, he bore thy load,
Thou hast slain the Lamb of God !
Hark ! his dying word — " Forgive !
Father, let the sinner live !
Sinner, wipe thy tears away,
I thy ransom freely pay."
While I hear this grace reveaPd,
And obtain a pardon seal'd,
All my soft affections move,
Waken'd by the force of love.
Farewell, world, thy gold is dross,
Now I see the bleeding cross ;
Jesus died to set me free
From the law, and sin, and thee !
He has dearly bought my soul ;
Lord, accept, and keep the whole!
To thy will I all resign,
Now, no more my own, but thine.
140 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
With joy— with grief, that healing hand I see : —
The skies it formM, and now it bleeds for me —
But bleeds the balm I want — yet still it bleeds: —
O what a groan was there ? a groan not his :
He seizM our dreadful right, the load sustained,
And beav'd the mountain from a guilty world.
Sensations new in angels' bosoms rise,
Suspend their song, and make a pause in bliss.
O for their song to reach my lofty theme !
My heart, awake :
What can awake thee, unawakM by this,
" Expended Deity on human weal V
Feel the great truths which burst the tenfold night
Of heathen error with a golden flood
Of endless day. To feel is to be fir'd ;
And to believe, Lorenzo, is to feel.
Thou most indulgent, most tremendous Pow'r !
Still more tremendous for thy wond'rous love !
That arms with awe more awful thy commands,
And foul transgression dips in sevenfold guilt;
How our hearts tremble at thy love immense !
In love immense, inviolably just !
Thou, rather than thy justice should be stain'd,
Didst stain the cross ; and, work of wonders far
The greatest, that thy dearest far might bleed.
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 141
Bold thought ! shall I dare speak it, or repress?
Should man more execrate or boast the guilt
Which rous'd such vengeance ; which such love in-
O'er guilt (how mountainous!) with outstretch'd
Stern Justice and soft smiling Love embrace,
Supporting, in full majesty, thy throne,
When seem'd its majesty to need support,
Or that, or man, inevitably lost:
What but the fathomless of thought divine
Could labour such expedient from despair,
And rescue both? Both rescue ! both exalt !
For thou didst die for me, oh Son of God!
By thee the throbbing flesh of man was worn ;
Thy naked feet the thorns of sorrow trod,
And tempests beat thy houseless head forlorn.
Thou that wert wont to stand
Alone, on God's right hand,
Before the ages were, the Eternal, eldest born.
Thy birthright in the world was pain and grief,
Thy love's return ingratitude and hate ;
142 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
The limbs thou healedst brought thee no relief,
The eyes thou openedst calmly viewM thy fate :
Thou, that wert wont to dwell
In peace, tongue cannot tell,
Nor heart conceive the bliss of thy celestial state.
They draggM thee to the Roman's solemn hall,
Where the proud Judge in purple splendour sate;
Thou stoodst a meek and patient criminal,
Thy doom of death from human lips to wait;
Whose throne shall be the world
In final ruin hurPd,
With all mankind to hear their everlasting fate.
Thou wert alone in that fierce multitude,
When " Crucify him ! !? yell'd the general shout;
No hand to guard thee 'mid those insults rude,
Nor lip to bless in all that frantic rout ;
Whose lightest whispered word
The Seraphim had heard,
And adamantine arms from all the heavens broke
They bound thy temples with the twisted thorn,
Thy bruised feet went languid on with pain ;
The blood, from all thy flesh with scourges torn,
DeepenM thy robe of mockery's crimson grain ;
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 143
Whose native vesture bright
Was the unapproached light,
The sandal of whose foot the rapid hurricane.
They smote thy cheek with many a ruthless palm,
With the cold spear thy shuddering side they pierced,
The draught of bitterest gall was all the balm
They gave, V enhance tliy unslaked burning thirst:
Thou, at whose words of peace
Did pain and anguish cease,
And the long buried dead their bonds of slumber
Low bowM thy head convulsed, and droopM in
Thy voice sent forth a sad and wailing cry ;
Slow struggled from thy breast the parting breath,
And every limb was wrung with agony.
That head, whose veilless blaze
Fill'd angels with amaze,
When at that voice sprung forth the rolling suns
And thou wert laid within the narrow tomb,
Thy clay -cold limbs with shrouding grave-clothes
144 THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
The sealed stone confirmed thy mortal doom,
Lone watchmen walked thy desert burial ground,
Whom heaven could not contain,
Nor th' immeasurable plain
Of vast infinity inclose a circle round.
For us, for us, thou didst endure the pain,
And thy meek spirit bow'd itself to shame,
To wash our souls from sins infecting stain,
T* avert the Father's wrathful vengeance flame :
Thou, that couldst nothing win
By saving worlds from sin,
Nor aught of glory add to thy all-glorious name.
Touch'd by the cross we live, or more than die ;
That touch which touch'd not angels ; more divine
Than that which touch'd confusion into form,
And darkness into glory : partial touch !
Ineffably pre-eminent regard !
Sacred to man, and sov'reign through the whole
Long golden chain of miracles, which hangs
From heav'n thro' all duration, and supports,
In one illustrious and amazing plan,
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL. 145
Thy welfare, Nature, and thy God's renown.
That touch, with charm celestial, heals the soul
Diseas'd, drives pain from guilt, lights life in death,
Turns earth to heav'n, to heavenly thrones trans-
The ghastly ruins of the mould'ring tomb.
Bread of Heav'n ! on thee I feed,
For thy flesh is meat indeed.
Ever may my soul be fed
With this true and living bread ;
Day by day with strength supplied,
Through the life of Him who died.
Vine of heav'n ! thy blood supplies
This blest cup of sacrifice.
>Tis thy wounds my healing give :
To thy cross I look, and live.
Thou my life ! Oh, let me be
Rooted, grafted, built on thee.
146 SABBATH RETIREMENT-
Every thought should be directed
Heavenward, through this hallo w'd day :
Worldly themes should be rejected,
Themes that draw the soul away :
'Tis the day of sacred rest,
'Tis the clay the Lord has blest.
Oh ! what glorious themes invite us,
When we look on Mercy's plan !
These are themes may well delight us,
Themes of joy to guilty man ;
Full of sweetness, full of grace,
Suited to the sinner's case.
Why should we grow weary thinking
Of the Saviour's grace and love ?
From these springs his people drinking,
Get a taste of joys above ;
Oh ! 'tis good the Lord to know !
'Tis our heaven begun below.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 147
O days of Heav'n, and nights of equal praise,
Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days,
When souls drawn upward in communion sweet
Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat,
Discourse as if releas'd and safe at home,
Of dangers past and wonders yet to come,
And spread the sacred treasures of the breast
Upon the lap of covenanted rest.
Our rest be here, the Cross beneath,
The fittest place for such as we :
'Tis here the faint begin to breathe,
TV insolvent here alone are free.
Pursued, and without power to flee ;
In debt, and having nought to pay ;
The Cross our place of refuge be,
Our safety by the Cross to stay.
Beneath the shelter of the place
We'll stay until the storm be past ;
For who would dare the storm to face,
Or who sustain its fatal blast?
148 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
But here we listen to the sound,
And, safe within this hallowM spot,
While desolation reigns around,
The angry tempest harms us not.
We owe him much, whose love provides
A shelter from the furious blast —
The Lord, who thus his people hides,
Until the storm is overpast.
Our refuge and our rest be here,
The danger soon will pass away ;
A cloudless sky will then appear,
A blessed, bright, eternal day.
As, panting in the sultry beam,
The hart desires the cooling stream,
So to thy presence, Lord, I flee,
So longs my soul, O God ! for thee ;
A thirst to taste thy living grace,
And see thy glory face to face.
But rising griefs distress my soul,
And tears on tears successive roll :
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 149
For many an evil voice is near,
To chide my woe, and mock my fear,
And silent memory weeps alone,
O'er hours of peace and gladness flown.
For I have walk'd the happy round
That circles Sion's holy ground,
And gladly swelPd the choral lays
That'hymn'd my great Redeemer's praise,
What time the hallow M arch along
Responsive swell'd the solemn song.
Ah ! why, by passing clouds opprest,
Should vexing thoughts distract my breast?
Turn, turn to Him, in every pain,
Whom never suppliant sought in vain ;
Thy strength, in joy's ecstatic day,
Thy hope, when joy has past away !
Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathom'd the depths of seas, of states, and kings ;
Walk'd with a staff to heaven, and traced fountains ;
But there are two vast spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove :
Yet few there are that sound them — Sin and Love.
150 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet : there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments, bloody be.
Sin is that press and vice which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through every vein.
Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice which, on the cross, a pike
Did set abroach ; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor, sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood, but I, as wine.
O God ! my heart within me faints,
And pours in sighs her deep complaints;
Yet many a thought shall linger still
By CarmePs height and Tabor's rill,
The Olive Mount my Saviour trod,
The rock's that saw and own'd their God.
The morning-beam that wakes the skies
Shall see my matin-incense rise ;
The evening seraphs, as they rove,
Shall catch the notes of joy and love ;
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 151
And sullen night, with drowsy ear,
The still repeated anthem hear.
My soul shall cry to thee, O Lord 1
To thee, supreme incarnate Word !
My rock and fortress, shield and friend,
Creator, Saviour, source, and end !
And thou wilt hear thy servant's prayer,
Though death and darkness speak despair.
Ah! why, by passing clouds opprest,
Should vexing thoughts distract thy breast ?
Turn, turn to Him, in every pain,
Whom never suppliant sought in vain ;
Thy strength, in joy's ecstatic day,
Thy hope, when joy has passed away !
My stock lies dead, and no increase
Doth my dull husbandry improve :
O let thy graces without cease
Drop from above.
If still the sun should hide his face,
Thy house would but a dungeon prove.
152 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Thy works, night's captives : O let grace
Drop from above.
The dew doth every morning fall ;
And shall the dew outstrip thy dove ?
The dew, for which grass cannot call,
Drop from above !
Death is still working like a mole,
And digs my grave at each remove :
Let grace work too, and on my soul
Drop from above.
Sin is still hammering my heart,
Unto a hardness void of Jove :
Let suppling grace, to cross his art,
Drop from above.
O come ! for thou dost know the way :
Or, if to me thou wilt not move,
Remove me where I need not say,
" Drop from above ! ,;
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 153
Change me, O God ! my flesh shall be
An instrument of song to thee,
And thou the notes inspire :
My tongue shall keep the heavenly chime,
My cheerful pulse shall beat the time,
And sweet variety of sound shall in thy praise con-
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Utter'd or unexpress'd ;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear ;
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try :
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,
154 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
His watchword at the gates of death :
He enters heaven by prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways ;
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And say, " Behold, he prays \"
The saints, in prayer, appear as one
In word, and deed, and mind,
When with the Father and his Son
Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone :
The Holy Spirit pleads ;
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.
O Thou ! by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way !
The path of prayer thyself hast trod :
Lord! teach us how to pray.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 155
Return, my roving heart! return,
And life's vain shadows choose no more 5
Seek out some solitude to mourn,
And thy forsaken God implore.
O thou great God, whose piercing eye
Distinctly marks each deep retreat!
In these sequestered hours draw nigh,
And let me here thy presence meet.
Through all the windings of my heart,
My search let heavenly wisdom guide,
And oft its beams unerring dart,
Till all be known and purified.
Then let the visits of thy love
My inmost soul be called to share,
Till ev'ry grace combine to prove
That God has fix'd his dwelling there !
Since life in sorrow must be spent,
So be it — I am well content,
And meekly wait my last remove,
Seeking only growth in love.
156 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
No bliss I seek, but to fulfil
In life, in death, thy lovely will ;
No succours in my woes I want,
Save what thou art pleas'd to grant.
Our days are numbered, let us spare
Our anxious hearts a needless care :
'Tis thine to number out our days ;
Ours to give them to thy praise.
Love is our only bus'ness here,
Love, simple, constant, and sincere ;
O blessed days, thy servants see !
Spent, O Lord ! in pleasing thee.
ami sole ? —
Oh no, I feel Him ; circumfus'd with God,
I hail Him not unconscious ; and that voice
Of one, amidst the coolness of the trees
Walking, which Adam heard so deep, so dread,
I hear it now in spirit, still and small,
Whispering of wisdom, power, and love divine.
So may I ever hear it, midst the crowd,
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 157
Or midst the closet, breathing holy awe
Of sin, and zeal of duty, as with God !
Breathing what meek humility unfeigned,
What bright-eyed faith, what never failing joy !
Amid my list of blessings infinite,
Stand this the foremost, "That my heart has bled."
God is here — how sweet the sound !
All I feel and all I see,
Nature teems, above, around,
With universal Deity !
Is there danger ? Void of fear,
Though the death-winged arrow fly,
I can answer — God is here,
And I move beneath his eye !
When I pray, he hears my prayer!
When I weep, he set my grief ;
Do I wander, he is there,
Ready to afford relief.
15$ SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Distance cannot part my soul ;
Not the morning in its flight,
Not the widest seas that roll,
Not the mount of greatest height.
No, nor any world that shines
In th' infinitude of space,
Lies without the boundless lines
Of the empire of his grace.
Then I would not spend a care
Where my future lot may lie ;
I am safe, for He is there,
Be it within Infinity.
O happy day, that fixM my choice
On thee, my Saviour, and my God !
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.
O happy bond, that seals my vows,
To him, who merits all my love !
Let cheerful anthems fill his house,
And echo through his courts above.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 159
'Tis done ! the great transaction's done :
I am my Lord's, and he is mine :
He drew me and compliance won,
Charm'd to obey the voice divine.
Now rest my long-divided heart,
Fix'd on this blissful center rest ;
With ashes who would grudge to part,
When call'd on angels' bread to feast ?
High heav'n, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear ;
Till in life's latest hour I bow,
And bless in death a bond so dear.
*Thou art my hope, Jehovah ; thou,
O God, from early youth
Hast been my trust, nor will I now
Suspect or doubt thy truth.
When clos'd within the darksome womb,
Life's vestibule, I lay,
* Psalm lxxi.
160 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Thy hand unbarrM my living tomb,
And let me forth to day.
Since then, upheld by thee, I live : —
Continual praise be thine !
To thee all glory will T give,
And shame alone be mine.
A wonder unto many, I
Hold on from year to year : —
Thou my strong refuge art on high —
Why should thy servant fear?
Oh ! let my mouth thy praise prolong
From day to silent night : —
Thy honour be my ceaseless song,
Thy service my delight.
Great are the troubles, Lord, and sore
Which thou my soul hast shewn :
But thou shalt quicken me once more,
And I thy hand shall own.
My greatness — if that word belong
To such a worm as I —
Thou shalt increase, and make me strong
To serve thee till I die.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 161
Thou sbalt my daily wants provide,
Faith, hope, and ev'ry grace ;
And comfort me on every side
Till I behold thy face.
Then, when my sorrows all are flown,
My soul, redeemed by thee,
Shall wake her harp of heavenly tone
To purer minstrelsy.
Return, my soul, and seek thy rest
Upon thy Heavenly Father's breast :
Indulge me, Lord, in that repose,
The soul which loves thee only knows.
Lodg'd in thy arms, I fear no more
The tempest's howl, the billow's roar :
Those storms must shake the Almighty's seat,
Which violate the saint's retreat.
Thy bounties, Lord, to me surmount
The power of language to recount ;
From morning dawn, the setting sun
Sees but my work of praise begun.
162 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
The mercies, all my moments bring,
Ask an eternity to sing ;
What thanks those mercies can suffice,
Which through eternity shall rise ?
Rich in ten thousand gifts possessed,
In future hopes more richly blessM,
I'll sit and sing till death shall raise
A note of more proportioned praise.
Though glorious, O God ! must thy Temple have been,
On the day of its first dedication,
When the Cherubims wings widely waving were
On high, o'er the ark's holy station ;
When even the chosen of Levi, though skill'd
To minister, standing before thee,
Retir'd from the cloud which the Temple then fill'd.
And thy glory made Israel adore thee :
Though awfully grand was thy majesty then ;
Yet the worship thy gospel discloses,
Less splendid in pomp to the vision of men,
Far surpasses the ritual of Moses
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 163
And by whom was that ritual for ever repealed?
Bat by Him, unto whom it was given
To enter the oracle, where is reveal'd,
Not the cloud, but the brightness of heaven.
Who having once entered, hath shown us the way,
O Lord, how to worship before thee ;
Not with shadowy forms of that earlier day,
But in spirit and truth to adore thee !
This, this is the worship the Saviour made known,
When she of Samaria found him
By the Patriarch's well, sitting weary, alone,
With the stillness of noon-tide around him.
How sublime, yet how simple that homage he taught
To her, who inquirM by that fountain,
If Jehovah at Solymas' shrine would be sought ?
Or ador'd on Samaria's mountain ?
Woman ! believe me, the hour is near,
When He, if ye rightly would hail him,
Will neither be worshipped exclusively here,
Nor yet at the altar of Salem.
For God is a Spirit ! and they, who aright
Would perform the pure worship he loveth,
164 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
In the heart's holy temple will seek, with delight,
That spirit the Father approveth.
And many that prophecy's truth can declare,
Whose bosoms have livingly known it,
Whom God hath instructed to worship him there,
And convinc'd that his mercy will own it.
The Temple that Solomon built to his name,
Now lives but in history's story ;
Extinguished long since in its altar's bright flame,
And vanish'd each glimpse of its glory.
But the Christian, made wise by a wisdom divine,
Though all human fabrics may falter,
Still finds in his bosom a hallowed shrine,
Where the fire burns unquench'd on the altar.
Religion ! Providence ! an after-state !
Here his firm footing ; here his solid rock ;
This can support us ; all is sea besides :
Sinks under us ; bestorms, and then devours.
His hand the good man fastens on the skies,
And bids earth roll, nor feels her idle whirl.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 165
Whence came I ? — Memory cannot say ;
What am I ?— Knowledge will not show ;
Bound whither ?— Ah ! away, away,
Far as eternity can go : —
Thy love to win, thy wrath to flee,
O God ! thyself mine helper be.
How oft beneath his blest and healing wings
He would have gathered me, and I would not,
Like a weak bird, all heedless of my lot !
Perverse and idle in my wanderings.
Now would my soul return, and trembling brings
Her wearied pinion to its wonted rest ;
And faint with its short flights and flutterings
Would seek a refuge in its parent breast !
O Father ! in thy mercy shelter me,
For I am worn with mortal miseries;
My dark and earth entangled spirit free,
And plume it to ascend its native skies;
With loosen'd wing to thy high rest to soar,
And never to desert its mansion more !
166 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
We walk by faith, not sense :
Sense walks by sight, must have its object near ;
Faith pierces distances to sense unseen ;
Removes us from this shadowy, twilight land
Of guessings, faint dim visions, aud short views,
To scenes reserved ; hereafter to be known ;
View-'d in the eternal day of Deity !
Be still, my soul, and wait his hour ;
Willi humble prayer, and p.atieut faith ;
Till he reveals his gracious power,
Repose on what his promise saith.
Faith builds a bridge from this world to the next.
O'er death's dark gulf, and all its horror hides ;
Praise the sweet exhalation of our joy,
That joy exalts, and makes it sweeter still ;
Pray'r ardent opens heav'n, lets down a stream
Of glory on the consecrated hour
Of man, in audience with the Deity.
SABBATH RET1RE1YJENT. 167
The Lord my Shepherd is,
And he my soul will keep ;
He knoweth who are his,
And watcheth o'er his sheep.
Away with every anxious fear :
I cannot want while he is near.
His wisdom doth provide
The pasture where I feed :
Where the still waters glide
Along the quiet mead
He leads my feet; and, when I roam,
O'ertakes and brings thewand'rer home.
He leads himself the way
His faithful flock should take :
Them, who his voice obey
His love will ne'er forsake ;
For he has pledg'd his holy name,
He who for ever is the same.
Let me but feel him near,
Death's gloomy pass in view,
Pll wal'k, without a fear,
The shadowy valley through.
With rod and staff, my Shepherd's care
Will guide my steps and guard me there.
168 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Still is my table spread ;
My foes stand silent by.
I feed on living bread ;
My cruse is never dry.
And surely love and mercy will
Attend me on my journey still.
Still hope and grateful praise
Shall form my constant song ;
Shall cheer my gloomiest days,
And tune my dying tongue —
Until my ransom'd soul shall rise
To praise him better in the skies.
Though sleepless nights and weary days
A while my portion be,
Teach me, O Lord ! in prayer and praise
To lift my heart to thee ;
In prayer — for faith and patience still;
For hopes that soar above ;
For meek submission to thy will;
Conviction of thy love ; —
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 169
In praise — for mercies left me yet,
With grateful thoughts to share ;—
O ! teach my heart to feel the debt
My tongue cannot declare !
My heart, my tongue! — Lord ! what am J,
That I the knee should bend,
Or hope, where angel voices vie,
My praises should ascend ?
My only hope — a worm of earth !
For praise or prayer of mine,
Must be, as these derive their birth
From thy pure Grace Divine.
Be this their source ; then may they rise
Before thy holy throne ;
There plead a Saviour's sacrifice,
And trust his power alone.
So shall the hosts, who ne'er have striven
With sin and guilty shame,
More sweetly still, for man forgiven,
Give glory to thy Name.
I/O SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Oh thou whose mercy guides my way,
Though now it seems severe,
Forbid my unbelief to say,
There is no mercy here !
Oh grant me to desire the pain
That comes in kindness down,
More than the world's supremest gain
Succeeded by a frown.
Then, though thou bend my spirit low,
Love only shall I see ;
The very hand that strikes the blow,
Was wounded once for me.
To freer scenes retire ;
For lonely joys, for solitary sweets,
For friendliest counsels with the mental pow'r.
Yet, while deep-wand'ring in the paths of thought,
If not so well the chamber's cloistering walls
Thy health or temper suit, as open skies,
Or in the garden, or sequestered field,
Not where throng'd numbers range for graceless mirth.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 171
At large thy meditating walk pursue ;
Reposing 'gainst thy hours of future want,
The treasured word with faithful memory.
So Jesus often to Gethsemane's shades,
Or some still mountain's heights, alone withdrew.
Religious musings may the pious breast
Raise from this earth, this lower house of God :
Heaven's costly cabinet of wonders full.
O sweetest converse! O grace-strengthening prayer !
Best work in private of the love-bom soul.
Enoch could walk with thee, and Abraham j worms
With Deity ; frail dust with mighty God.
Why may not now frail dust in favour walk?
Why not vile me? — thy pity's miracle,
Wonder of grace from foulest life reclaimed,
A willing vot'ry, though thy feeblest child ?
O ! let down somewhat of thy heavenly self
In this dark breast, this hell-benighted heart 1
Parent of life divine !— some vital beam*
In privacies, my frequent lonely walk,
By hill, by field, by willow-arbourM brook,
By twilight path of woods with closet shade,
Alone from every eye — yet least alone
With thee, all-present Father, mild of grace—
Thou deign'st me sweet communion; while I breathe,
With love-uplifted hands, and eyes, and soul,
To thy communion sweet, returns I breathe
172 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
In prostrate thought, and vows, and murmur'd prayer.
— He whispers to my deepest solitude,
In pressures of my loneliest saddest thought,
" Be undismayed ; thy God is preseni here,
Is nigh, is with thee ; though through whelming floods.
Through fires, thy path is marked : distressed and tried :
Thy friend omnipotent, thy guardian strength
Accompanies thy steps ; is with thee still. M —
I trust thy promises, I plead them o'er,
I urge them often on my sinking heart,
I drink into their sweetness deep, and taste
Their nourishments, and feel their cordial powers.
— Ye hills ! ye fields ! clear, willow-arbour'd brook !
And woods with twilight path of closet shades !
LovM haunts, that my celestial solaces
Have seen, so oft have heard my filial vows,
Be witness to those interviews divine.
Records of favoured seasons, fast imprest
On grateful memory : like the votive stones
In Luz, by solitary Jacob rear'd
To Padan journeying. — These to meditate
Thro' the dark labyrinths of my pilgrimage,
Shall cheer its sablest glooms, its heaviest hours.
By Jesus manumissed from Satan's bonds,
A sentenced slave, the ransomed in his blood,
O dear Immanuel ! God in human flesh
Intabernacled strange, my remnant days —
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 173
Few days, alas ! of conscious evil full, —
Shall all in acts of love be vow'd to thee.
Health, action, powers, will I be only thine :
Soul, flesh, thy creature, consecrated all:
Thy servant, only thine, redeeming Lord !
By choice the self-devoted to thy fear.
Thus the poor feathery captive, hard escap'd
With life, th' ensnaring fowler's deadly wile,
With fluttering bosom hastes, her timorous wing
Unbating, till of happy covert sure,
Hid in her cloistering bow'r: there, safe at rest,
In her sweet shelter sits, too warn'd to roam :
Then swells her note with more exulting joy.
Here I wait — a little while —
With my burning lamp in hand ;
Wait, and live upon thy smile —
Think of thee while here I stand.
Think of thine omniscient eye,
Think of thine almighty power:
Think that thou, my Lord, art nigh
Every day and every hour.
174 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Think that Jesus died for me,
Bare my sin and paid my score :
Reconciled my soul to thee,
Bade me "go and sin no more."
Think — but thought can soar no higher; —
Silently I praise thy name !
Angels ! till I join your choir,
His transcendent love proclaim.
Peace has unveil'd her smiling face,
And woos thy soul to her embrace ;
Enjoy M with ease, if thou refrain
From earthly love, else sought in vain ;
She dwells with all who Truth prefer,
But seeks not them who seek not her.
Yield to the Lord, with simple heart,
All that thou hast, and all thou art;
Renounce all strength but strength divine ;
And peace shall be for ever thine :
Behold the path which I have trod,
My path, till I go home to God.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 175
Welcome, with humble joy His power ;
By present suffering undeterrM ; —
To know of Grace the healing dower,
The Heart's deep fountain must be stirr'd!
Whi le in unruffled calm it lies,
Its mirror only can display-
However beautiful their dies,
The forms of things that pass away.
Nor can it in its natural rest,
However pure to outward view,
Be with that holier virtue blest,
Which life and vigour can renew.
But when its troubled waters own
A Saviour's touch; in every wave
The healing power of Grace is known,
And found omnipotent to save.
A glimpse of glories far more bright
Than earth can give — is mirror'd there ;
And grateful love and cloudless light
The presence of its God declare.
176 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Oh lovely solitude, how sweet
The silence of this calm retreat !
Here Truth, the fair whom I pursue,
Gives all her beauty to my view ;
The simple, unadom'd display,
Charms ev'ry pain and fear away.
O Truth, whom millions proudly slight ;
O Truth, my treasure and delight ;
Accept this tribute to thy name,
And this poor heart, from which it came !
Yes, in each portion of thine universe
Thou meets't us, Archetype of being ! — all
Is but a mirror of Divinity ;
Reflecting, wheresoe'er we duly gaze,
God and religion. Thou on all thy works
Hast writ thy name.
And shall I fear
A Father's thunder? \yill his lightning harm
A child ? a favourite ? in his fond, fond heart
Lodged, watched, remembered, by as quick a sense
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 177
As the touched pupil of the feeling eye ?
Are not his angels here? my royal guard,
On kind commission sent. Himself is here !
Himself! in every state of conflict found
My help, my Saviour nigh, my present God !
Arid shall I fear — though Nature swift were seized
With her expiring pang ; though hell should arm,
And hemmed I stood, with ghastliest furies round !
Hoar on, ye thunders ! flash, ye lightnings ! now,
O'er this untrembling head !— mid all your threats,
Composed to sweetest peace ; while calm'd, assur'd,
By the felt pledges of a father's love.
— Try, Unbeliever, how thy bulrush hope
Will bear thee, in an hour of stormy fears,
In calm, in courage like the Christian's trust !
My heart is easy, and my burden light ;
I smile, though sad, when thou art in my sight :
The more my woes in secret I deplore,
I taste thy goodness, and I love thee more.
There, while a solemn stillness reigns around,
Faith, Love, and Hope within my soul abound ;
And, while the world suppose me lost in care,
The joys of angels, unperceiv'd, I share.
178 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Thy creatures wrong thee, O thou sov'reign Good !
Thou art not lovM, because not understood ;
This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
Ungrateful men, regardless of thy smile.
Frail beauty and false honour, are adorM ;
While thee they scorn, and trifle with thy word ;
Pass, unconcernM, a Saviour's sorrows by ;
And hunt their ruin with a zeal to die.
Come, Holy Spirit, calm my mind.
And fit me to approach my God ;
Remove each vain, each worldly thought,
And lead me to thy blest abode.
Hast thou imparted to my soul
A living spark of holy fire ?
O kindle now the sacred flame,
Make me to burn with pure desire.
Impress upon my wandering heart
The love that Christ to sinners bore ;
Then mourn the wounds my sins produced,
And my redeeming God adore.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 179
A brighter faith and hope impart,
And let me now my Saviour see;
O sooth and cheer my burden'd heart,
And bid my spirit rest in thee.
Dear Book of God ! the charter of my hopes !
Faith's title to the inheritance of light !
Oh ! for a ray, descending from on high,
To bring thy glorious promises to view,
And tell me they are mine ! The seal, the seal
Is broken ! Now unfolds the illumined roll !
Approach and read : — Believer, all is thine !
The Spirit breathes upon the word,
And brings the truth to sight ;
Precepts and promises afford
A sanctifying light.
A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun :
It gives a light to every age ;
It gives, but borrows none.
180 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
The hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat ;
His truths upon the nations rise ;
They rise, but never set.
Let everlasting thanks be thine
For such a bright display,
As makes a world of darkness shine
With beams of heavenly day.
My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of him I love,
Till glory breaks upon my view
In brighter worlds above.
Sweet is the thought — lime flies apace —
This earth is not our resting place •,
And sweet the promise of the Lord,
To all who love his name and word.
Then, weeping pilgrim, dry thy tears ;
Comfort on every side appears ;
An eye beholds thee from above,
The eye of God— and "God is love."
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 181
Scripture is the only cure of woe ;
That field of promise, how it flings abroad
It's odour o'er the Christian's thorny road !
The soul, reposing on assur'd relief,
Feels herself happy amidst all her grief,
Forgets her labour as she toils along,
Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song.
Place me where winds and tempests reign,
Where frowning winter binds the plain
In chains of ice and snow ;
Where never summer's tepid breeze
Invigorates the dying trees,
Or bids the waters flow.
Or place me where the arid soil
Mocks human skill and human toil ;
Where ceaseless thunders roll ;
Where not a leaf of verdure grows,
Nor dews descend, nor fountain flows
To cheer the fainting soul.
My Saviour's love, my Saviour's smile
The tedious moments shall beguile,
182 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
And give the desert charms ;
What though the clime be wing'd with death,
'Twere heaven to yield this fleeting breath,
And fly to Jesus' arms.
C. S. Wilks.
Do thou my thoughts control —
Erect devotion's temple in my soul ;
And there, my God ! my King ! unrivall'd sway :
So let existence, like a sabbath-day,
Glide softly by, and let that temple be
A shrine devoted all to truth and thee.
The bird, let loose in eastern skies,
When hastening fondly home,
Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idler warblers roam ;
But high she shoots through air and light,
Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
Nor shadow dims her way.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 183
So grant me, Lord ! from every stain
Of sinful passion free,
Aloft, through virtue's purer air,
To steer my course to thee !
No sin to cloud, no lure to stay
My soul, as home she springs ;
Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy freedom on her wings.
None sends his arrow to the mark in view,
Whose hand is feeble, or his aim untrue.
For though, ere yet the shaft is on the wing,
Or when it first forsakes the elastic string,
It err but little from the intended line,
It falls at last far short of his design :
So he, who seeks a mansion in the sky,
Must watch his purpose with a steadfast eye ;
That prize belongs to none but the sincere ;
The least obliquity is fatal here.
184 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
How happy are the new-born race,
Partakers of adopting grace ;
How pure the bliss they share !
Hid from the world and all its eyes,
Within the heart the blessing lies,
And conscience feels it there.
The moment we believe, 'tis ours ;
And if we love witli all our powers
The God from whom it came ;
And if we serve with hearts sincere,
*Tis still discernible and clear,
An undisputed claim.
But ah ! if foul and wilful sin
Stain and dishonour us within,
Farewell the joy we knew j
Again the slaves of Nature's sway,
In labyrinths of our own we stray,
Without a guide or clue.
The chaste and pure, who fear to grieve
The gracious Spirit they receive,
His w r ork distinctly trace ;
And, strong in undissembling love,
Boldly assert and clearly prove,
Their hearts his dwelling-place.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 185
Oh Messenger of dear delight,
Whose voice dispels the deepest night,
Sweet-peace proclaiming Dove !
With thee at hand to sooth our pains,
No wish unsatisfied remains,
No task, but that of love.
>Tis Love unites what Sin divides;
The centre, where all bliss resides ;
To which the soul once brought,
Reclining on the great first Cause,
From his abounding sweetness draws
Peace, passing human thought.
Sorrow foregoes its nature there,
And life assumes a tranquil air,
Divested of its woes j
There, sov'reign goodness sooths the breast,
Till then, incapable of rest,
In sacred sure repose.
Faith owns the mystery, and looking forth
To that near day, when all will be explained ;
When the obscure inexplicable springs
Of earthly action, will be proved the work,
186 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
The faultless work of Him, who cannot err,
Accepts it, and consents that it is good —
But Death alone can end it. — Death alone
Can bring such consummation of our fate
As may instruct us wherefore we have lived.
In Thee I find wealth, comfort, virtue, might ;
My wand'rings prove thy wisdom infinite;
All that I have, I give thee; and then see
All contrarieties unite in thee ;
For thou hast joinM them, taking up our woe,
And pouring out thy bliss on worms below,
By filling with thy grace and love divine
A gulf of evil in this heart of mine.
This is indeed to bid the vallies rise,
And the hills sink — ? tis matching earth and skies !
I feel my weakness, thank thee, and deplore
An aching heart that throbs to thank thee more ;
The more I love thee, I the more reprove
A soul so lifeless, and so slow to love ;
Till, on a deluge of thy mercy toss'd,
I plunge into that sea, and there am lost.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 187
Oh ! Thou, who dry'st the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to thee.
For thou wilt heal that broken heart
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.
When joy no longer sooths or cheers,
And ev'n the hope that threw
A moment's sparkle o'er our tears,
Is dimm'd and vanished too!
Oh ! who could bear life's stormy doom,
Did not thy wing of love
Come brightly wafting, thro' the gloom,
Our Peace-branch from above?
Then, sorrow, touched by thee, grows bright
With more than rapture's ray ;
As darkness shews us worlds of light
We never saw by day !
188 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Blest ! who, far from all mankind,
This world's shadows left behind,
Hears from heav'n a gentle strain
Whisp'ring love, and loves again.
Blest ! who, free from self-esteem,
Dives into the Great Supreme,
All desire beside discards,
Joys inferior none regards.
Blest ! who, in thy bosom, seeks
Rest that nothing earthly breaks ;
Dead to self and worldly things,
Lost in thee, thou King of Kings!
Ye that know my secret fire,
Softly speak, and soon retire ;
Favour my divine repose,
Spare the rest a God bestows.
Droop not, dejected convert, oft to feel
Corruption's rising strife. True christian peace
Learned by sharpest toil. Faith must have proof:
Heaven always tries its gift. Thy fight, though hard,
Though long, though many a foil with deep dismay
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 189
Sustained, the truth will shew of inward grace:
Grace by its trials only can be known.
Distrust thy own frail power, but keep thine eye
On thy great Captain for victorious strength ;
Fenc'd round by his almighty panoply,
More shalt thou be than conqueror, hardier grow
Thy holy courage ; then shall joy divine,
Raptures unknown, dilate thy ravishM heart,
Known but to saints, the foretaste of their heaven.
So when foul night enwraps the lowering air
In hideous shade, the winds with rocking gust
Tempestuous roar: while from the warring clouds
Blaze livid lightnings, and in frequent peals
Bursts the dread thunder — if at welcome dawn,
In radiant calm ascends the smiling sun,
All Nature opes her sweets, the fields and flowers,
Drest in fresh blooms, unusual brightness wear,
And cheer the senses with redoubled charm.
Not only in thy temple, Lord,
Which human hands have made,
I meditate thy sacred word,
Or view thy love displayed ;
190 SABBATH RETIREMENT,
Here, where a nobler dome expands,
Far, far above my head,
A canopy unmade by hands,
Which thou alone hast spread :
I gaze — I wonder — I adore,
While Nature flings abroad
Her every charm — her every store,
As emblems of her God,
In every flower that round me blows,
His bounty T can trace ;
In each cool stream that near me flows,
His sweet refreshing grace.
Yon glorious sun, before my thought
The brighter glories brings,
To which all those, his love has brought,
Shall soar on angel-wings.
But, oh ! not all the varied dress
Of water, earth, and skies,
Hath aught sufficient to express
The wond'rous sacrifice !
And yet all nature seems to move
The rapturous thought divine,
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 191
For all, I see, recals thy love,
And warmly wakens mine ;
And who upon thy love can e'er
His thoughts in transports lose,
Yet on its dearest pledge forbear
With fervent zeal to muse !
Oh, thus may still thy gifts recal
The source from which they flowM;
Still lead me to behold, thro* all,
The Saviour in the God !
A World, miraculous like this, to make
A word it cost ! but one prolific word |
But ah ! the Almighty Maker's life itself
Was paid, that world from ruin to redeem.
God stooped to sufferings, for his creature's sin !
Here, in this solitude profound,
Pause, my soul, 'tis holy ground !
Come, lay thine earthly cares aside,
Jehovah whispers, " I'll provide."
192 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Thrice welcome to this aching breast.
Long wearied in pursuit of rest :
Thrice welcome is the lonely hour.
As the calm port when tempests lower.
God, my God ! alone with thee,
Here lock'd in holy secrecy,
All my guilt shall be disclosed ;
All my wants on thee reposed.
•Abhor me not ! although I be
Abhorrible in all to thee.
Myself I loathe — myself I shun —
But seek a refuge in thy Son.
Redeeming love ! atoning blood !
1 plunge into the cleansing flood : —
'Tis done ! — faith's simple act is done !
My soul-polluting guilt is gone.
Detested sin ! I hate thy name :
My Saviour's death ! my nature's shame !
The feet I pierc'd I bathe with tears,
While filial love supplants my fears.
* See Rev. T. Scott's Life.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 193
Spirit of peace ! descend, and rest
A constant inmate in my breast :
Calm the rough passions of my soul,
Constrained beneath thy mild control.
Still hover here, Celestial Dove !
Infusing faith, and hope, and love :
Nor let an earth-born care intrude
Upon my Sabbath solitude.
Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home ;
Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come !
Crush me, ye rocks ! ye falling mountains, hide !
Or bury me in ocean's angry tide. —
The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes
I dare not And you need not, God replies.
The remedy you want, I freely give :
The book shall teach you — read, believe, and live !
>Tis done — the raging storm is heard no more,
Mercy receives me on her peaceful shore :
And Justice, guardian of the dread command,
Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand.
]94 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
The turf shall be my fragrant shrine ;
My temple, Lord ! thai arch of thine ;
My censer's breath, the mountain airs ;
And silent thoughts, my only prayers.*
My choir shall be the moonlight waves,
When murmuring homeward to their caves ;
Or when the stillness of the sea,
Even more than music, breathes of thee !
I'll seek, by day, some glade unknown,
All light and silence, like thy throne !
And the pale stars shall be, at night,
The only eyes that watch my rite.
Thy heaven, on which 'tis bliss to look,
Shall be my pure and shining book,
Where I shall read, in words of flame,
The glories of thy wond'rous Name.
Til read thy anger in the rack
That clouds awhile the day -beam's track ;
Thy mercy, in the azure hue
Of sunny brightness breaking through !
* Pii orant tacite.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 195
There's nothing bright above, below,
From flowers that bloom to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
Some feature of thy Deity !
There's nothing dark below, above,
But in its gloom I trace thy love;
And meekly wait that moment, when
Thy touch shall turn all bright again.
Eternal God, our wandering souls
Admire thy matchless grace ;
That thou wilt walk, that thou wilt dwell
With Adam's worthless race.
O lead me to that happy path
Where I my God may meet,
Tho' hosts of foes begird it round,
Tho' briars wound my feet.
Cheer'd with thy converse, I can trace
The desert with delight :
Thro' all the gloom one smile of thine
Can dissipate the night.
196 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Nor shall I thro' eternal days
A restless pilgrim roam ;
Thy hand, that now directs my course,
Shall soon convey me home.
I ask not Enoch's rapturous flight
To realms of heavenly day ;
Nor seek Elijah's fiery steeds
To bear this flesh away.
Joyful my spirit will consent
To drop its mortal load ;
And hail the sharpest pangs of death
That break its way to God.
Infinite God, thou great unrivalFd One !
Whose glory makes a blot of yonder sun ;
Compar'd with thine, how dim his beauty seems,
How quench'd the radiance of his golden beams !
Thou art my bliss, the light by which I move ;
In thee alone dwells all that I can love :
All darkness flies when thou art pleasM V appear,
A sudden spring renews the fading year ;
Where'er I turn, I see thy pow'r and grace,
The watchful guardians of our heedless race ;
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 197
Thy various creatures in one strain agree,
All, in all times and place«, speak of thee ;
E'en I, with trembling heart and stammering tongue,
Attempt thy praise, and join the general song.
Almighty Former of this wonderous plan
Faintly reflected in thine image, Man —
Holy and Just — the greatness of whose name
Fill and supports this universal frame,
Diffus'd throughout th' infinitude of space,
Who art thyself thine own vast dwelling place !
Soul of our soul, whom yet no sense of ours
Discerns, eluding our most active powers ;
Encircling shades attend thine awful throne,
That veil thy face, and keep thee still unknown ;
Unknown, though dwelling in our inmost part,
Lord of the thoughts, and Sov'reigu of the heart !
Repeat the charming truth that never tires,
No god is like the God my soul desires ;
He at whose voice heav'n trembling, even He,
Great as he is, knows how to stoop to me.
May the source of light,
All-present, all-sufficient, guide our steps
Thro' every maze! and whom in childish years
From the loud throng, the beaten paths of wealth
198 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
And power, thou didst apart send forth to speak
Tn tuneful words concerning highest things,
Him still do thou, O Father ! at those hours
Of pensive freedom, when the human soul
Shuts out the rumour of the world, him still
Touch thou with secret lessons : call thou back
Each erring thought ; and let the yielding strain
From his full bosom, like a welcome rill,
Spontaneous from its healthy fountain flow.
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse.
Rise then, my soul ; thy comprehensive eye
Stretch o'er the pregnant universe, around,
Above ; nor only when it meets thy seuse,
Partial and dim ; but much more as it dawns,
Uncurtaiu'd and enlarged, in that bright book
Dropt like a sun-beam on a darkling world.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 199
Pilgrim, burden'd with thy sin,
Come the way to Z ion's gate,;
There, till mercy speaks within,
Knock and weep, and watch and wait.
Knock — he knows the sinner's cry ;
Weep — he loves the mourner's tears ;
Watch — for saving grace is nigh;
Wait — till heav'niy grace appears.
Hark, it is thy Saviour's voice !
<( Welcome, Pilgrhn to thy rest."
Now within the gate rejoice,
Safe and own'd, and bought and blest.
Safe — from all the lures of vice ;
Own'd — by joys the contrite know ;
Bought — by love and life the price ;
Blest — the mighty debt to own !
Holy Pilgrim ! what for thee,
In a world like this, remains?
From thy guarded breast shall flee
Fear and shame, and doubt and pains.
Fear — the hope of heaven shall fly ;
Shame — from glory's view retire;
Doubt — in full belief shall die ;
Pain — in endless bliss expire.
200 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Presence of God in spirit ! precious truth,
Precious to those who iu that presence woo
Their portion, their perfection ! Well they know,
To explore in aught beside the gem of bliss,
Is but to search the living midst the dead.
Question the height ; it answers, >Tis not here :
The depth ; it gives thee back the same response.
What though creation profferM to thy grasp
Its countless treasures ? What though all the sweets
Of knowledge thine, of honour, power, and love?
Think'st thou, could all those sweets, those treasures
The unbounded aspirations of thy soul ?
Oh deem not so ! the spirit, form'd for God,
Roves o'er his works insatiable : she asks
Infinite, uncreated good ; nor aught
Less than the fountain of essential life
Can slake her inextinguishable thirst.
God in himself hath center'd and reserved
The secret of beatitude ; himself
Not more its author, than its element.
>Tis only, as it leads us home to him,
That aught he gives can bless us ; worthless else,
Lifeless, as sever'd from its root, the tree.
Hence, in Divine communion still the saints,
Drawn from above, have sought and found their joy ;
And near and nearer to the throne of Love
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 201
Have press'd, delighted ; hence, like him of old,
All with one voice, one heart, they still exclaim :
" Whom but thyself desire we, Lord, below ?
What but thy presence gives its charm to heaven ?"
Nor human tongue can tell, nor human thought,
Save in experience, comprehend the peace
Thy Spirit in the soul, through all her powers,
Diffuses ; peace of an in-dwelling God —
No rest, for man or angel, save in thee !
Jesus, T my cross have taken,
All to leave, and follow thee ;
Naked, poor, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shalt be ;
Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, or hoped, or known,
Yet, how rich is my condition,
God and heaven are still my own.
Let the world despise and leave me ;
They have left my Saviour too :
Human hearts and looks deceive me,
Thou art not like them untrue ;
And whilst thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
202 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Foes may hate, and friends may scorn me,
Show thy face and all is bright.
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure;
Corre disaster, scorn, and pain ;
In thy service pain is pleasure,
With thy favour loss is gain.
I have call'd thee, Abba, Father,
I have set my heart on thee ;
Storms may howl and tempests gather,
All must work for good to me.
Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me,
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh ! 'tis not in grief to harm me,
While thy love is left to me,
Oh ! 'twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmix'd with thee.
Soul, then, know thy full salvation,
Rise o'er sin, and fear, and care,
Joy to find in every station
Something still to do or bear.
Think what spirit dwells within thee ;
Think what Father's smiles are thine,
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 203
Think that Jesus died to save thee ;
Child of heaven, canst thou repine?
Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Arm'd by faith, and wing'd by prayer ;
Heaven's eternal day's before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thine earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days ;
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
Long plunged in sorrow, I resign
My soul to that dear hand of thine,
Without reserve or fear;
That hand shall wipe my streaming eyes ;
Or into smiles of glad surprise
Transform the falling tear.
My sole possession is thy love !
In earth beneath, or heaven above,
I have no other store ;
And though with fervent suit I pray,
And importune thee night and day,
I ask thee nothing more.
204 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
My rapid hours pursue the course
Prescrib'd them by love's sweetest force,
Obedient to thy will ;
Nor would T murmur at my doom,
Though still a sufferer from the womb,
And doomed to suffer still.
By thy command, where'er I stray,
Sorrow attends me all my way,
A never-failing friend ;
And if my sorrows may augment
Thy praise, behold me well content —
Let sorrow still attend.
It costs me no regret, that she,
Who followed Christ, should follow me ;
And though, where'er she goes,
Thorns spring spontaneous at her feet,
I love her, and extract a sweet
From all my bitter woes.
He was a Man of Sorrows — He
Who loved and saved us thus ;
And shall the world that frown'd on him,
Wear only smiles for us ?
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 205
No ; we must follow in the path
Our Lord and Saviour run ;
We must not find a resting-place,
Where he we love found none.
When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark, and friends are few ;
On Him I lean, who, not in vain,
Experienced every human pain.
He sees my griefs, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures up my tears.
If aught should tempt my soul to stray
From heav'nly wisdom's narrow way ;
To fly the good I would pursue,
Or do the thing I would not do j
Still He, who felt temptation's power,
Shall guard me in that dangerous hour.
If wounded love my bosom swell,
DespisM by those I prized too well ;
He shall his pitying aid bestow,
Who felt on earth severer woe ;
At once betray'd, denied, or fled,
By those who shared his daily bread.
206 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
When vexing thoughts within me rise,
Ana\ sore dismayM, my spirit dies ;
Yet He who once vouchsafed to bear
The sick'ning anguish of despair,
Shall sweetly sooth, shall gently dry
The throbbing heart, the streaming eye.
When mourning, o'er some stone I bend,
Which covers all that was a friend ;
And from his voice, his hand, his smile,
Divides me for a little while ;
Thou, Saviour, mark'st the tears I shed,
For thou didst weep o'er Lazarus dead.
And, O ! when I have safely past
Through tvery conflict but the last,
Still, still unchanging, watch beside
My painful bed — for thou hast died ;
Then point to realms of cloudless day,
And wipe the latest tear away.
In the " cleft of the rock" when I lie,
And the vision of God " passes by,"
How it beams like a sun on my path!
How it scatters the tempest of wrath !
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 207
But, alas ! it lias vanished again !
I seek the bright vision in vain ;
Sin quenches the beam of the morn,
And leaves me all dark and forlorn.
Saviour ! I pant for the hour,
When, upraised on the wing of thy power,
1 may soar to the light of thy throne,
And know thee, as here I am known.
When, when will the clouds roll away,
And this twilight dissolve into day,
And the visions of brightness endure,
And joys be as lasting as pure?
Lord ! I come to thee for rest,
Take possession of my breast ;
There thy blood -bought right maintain,
And without a rival reign.
While I am a pilgrim here,
Let thy love my spirit cheer ;
As my guide, my guard, my friend,
Lead me to my journey's end.
208 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Shew me what I have to do,
Ev'ry hour my strength renew ;
Let me live a life of faith,
Let me die thy people's death.
Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot,
And cut up all my follies by the root,
I never trusted in an arm but thine,
Nor hop'd, but in thy righteousness divine:
My prayers and alms, imperfect and defilM,
Were but the feeble efforts of a child :
Howe'er performed, it was their brightest part
That they proceeded from a grateful heart :
Cleans'd in thine own all-purifying blood,
Forgive their evil, and accept their good ;
I cast them at thy feet — my only plea
Is what it was, dependence upon thee :
While struggling in the vale of tears below,
That never fail'd, nor shall it fail me now.
Angelic gratulations rend the skies,
Pride falls unpitied. never more to rise,
Humility is crown'd, and Faith receives the prize.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 209
Ah ! who would rashly quit the nest,
Where oft the heart has sunk to rest ;
And, through the gloomy skies of night,
Attempt the l'jne and needless flight!
Who would not love to sit and sing,
In peace, beneath the parent wing ;
If that soft wing indeed be spread
Securely o'er the nestling's head?
Yet, when the voice that rules the skies
Calls to my heart, and bids it " Rise,"
And that soft wing my flight would stay,
I quit the nest, and break away.
Parents and friends— all, all are dear,
As aught that sooths the spirit here —
Yet, Lord, from all the heart shall flee
Which chains the struggling soul from thee.
What various hindrances we meet
In coming to the mercy-seat !
Yet who, that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there ?
210 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Prayer makes the dark'ned cloud withdraw ;
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faiih and love ;
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight ;
Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.
Since first thy word awak'd my heart,
Like new life drawing o'er me,
Where'er I turn mine eyes, thou art,
All light and love, before me.
Nought else I feel, or hear, or see —
All bonds of earth I sever —
Thee, O God ! and only thee
I live for, now and ever.
Like him, whose fetters dropp'd away
When light shone o'er his prison,
My spirit, tuuch'd by Mercy's ray,
Hath from her chains arisen.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 211
And shall a soul thou bidst be free,
Return to bondage ? — Never !
Thee, O God ! and only thee
I live for, now and ever.
Through the skies when the thunder is hurled,
The child to its parent will flee;
Thus, amidst the rebukes of the world,
I turn, O my Father ! to thee.
In vain would they bid me retire ;
In vain would they silence my prayer:
J Tis eye-sight, 'tis life, I require ;
I seek to be snatched from despair.
In this valley of sorrow and strife,
Prayer shall rise with my earliest breath ;
It shall mix in the business of life,
And soften the struggles of death.
212 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
There's mercy in every place ;
And mercy, encouraging thought !
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat
Where Jesus answers prayer ;
There humbly fall before his feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh ;
Thou callest burden'd souls to thee,
And such,0 Lord ! am I.
Bow'd down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely prest ;
By war without, and fears within,
I come to thee for rest.
Be thou my shield and hiding place !
That sheltered near thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him, " Thou hast died.'-'
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 213
O wond'rous love ! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead thy gracious Name.
" Poor tempest-tossed soul, be still,
My promised grace receive ;"
'Tis Jesus speaks — I must, I will,
I can, I do believe.
Each fabled fount of comfort dry,
Where can I quench my feverish thirst ?
Is not the world one glittering lie?
Do not its swelling bubbles burst ?
Systems, and men, and books, and things,
Are nothings drest in painted wings.
Lord, " thou art true:" and, O the joy,
To turn from other words to thine ;
To dig the gold without alloy
From Truth's unfathomable mine ;
To escape the tempest's fitful shocks,
And anchor 'midst the eternal rocks!
214 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend;
My Prophet, Priest, and King ;
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.
Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought ;
But when T see thee as thou art,
I'll praise thee as I ought.
Till then I would thy love proclaim
With ev'ry fleeting breath ;
And may the music of thy name
Refresh my soul in death.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I'll sing thy power to save ;
When this poor lisping stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave.
Lord, I believe thou hast prepared
(Unworthy though I be)
For me a blood-bought free reward,
A golden harp for me !
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 215
'Tis strung, and tun'd for endless years,
And formM by power divine,
To sound in God the Father's ears
No other name but thine.
The billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wint'ry sky ;
Out of the depths to thee I call,
My fears are great, my strength is small.
O Lord ! the pilot's part perform,
And guide and guard me through the storm ;
Defend me from each threatening ill,
Control the waves, say, t( Peace, be still. "
Amidst the roaring of the sea,
My soul still hangs her hope on thee ;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.
Dangers, of every shape and name,
Attend the followers of the Lamb,
Who leave the world's deceitful shore,
And leave it to return no more.
216 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Though tempest toss'd, and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek ;
Let neither wiuds nor stormy main
Force back my shattered bark again.
Lo ! I come to thee, blest Lamb !
Thou wilt take me as I am :
Nought but sin, T thee can give ;
Nought but mercy, I receive.
When, in the hour of lonely woe,
I give my sorrows leave to flow,
And care, and fear, and dark distrust
Weigh down my spirit to the dust;
When not e'en Friendship's gentle aid
Can heal the wounds the world has made ;
Oh ! this shall check each rising sigh,
My Saviour is for ever nigh.
His counsels and upholding care
My safety and my comfort are :
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 217
And he shall guide me all my days,
Till glory crown the work of grace.
Jesus ! in whom but thee above,
Can I repose my trust, my love ?
And shall an earthly object be
Loved in comparison with thee?
My flesh is hastening to decay ;
Soon shall the world have passed away ;
And what can mortal friends avail
When heart, and strength, and life shall fail ?
But oh ! be thou, my Saviour, nigh,
And I will triumph while I die.
My strength, my portion is divine ;
And Jesus is for ever mine.
Delusive world, farewell !
By grief and sin distrest
On one delightful thought I dwell,
That thou art not my rest !
Once thou wert all I sought
To fill this anxious breast,
218 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
And it was then a mournful thought,
That thou wert not my rest !
But oft would guilt appear
In legal horrors dresr,
And many a sad foreboding fear
Denied my hope of rest !
And long with heartfelt pain,
By inward foes opprest,
Some friendly hand I asked in vain,
To point a place of rest.
Till hastening from above,
A self-invited guest,
The Saviour, with a smile of love.
Proclaimed himself my rest.
No longer canst thou fill,
False world, this peaceful breast ;
No more thy frowns my comforts kill,
Since Jesus is my rest !
He bids that scene arise
Which life and love invest ;
He bids me quit each earthly prize,
And pant for heavenly rest.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 219
Yes ! I shall join the throng,
By his own voice confest ;
And celebrate in ceaseless song,
My Lord, my life, my rest !
Celestial Visitant, herald of peace,
Who com'st when the waters of trouble decrease,
O say to my heart, that the tempest of wrath
No longer o'erhangs and endangers my path.
Oh ! come with the olive-branch, Spirit of love !
With thy train of sweet graces descend from above ;
Bring with thee the purity, concord, repose,
Thy peaceful and permanent presence bestows.
Let thy heart-soothing melody charm me again,
In the days of " clear-shining " that follow the rain ;
In tenderness visit this sorrowing breast,
And make it for ever the seat of thy rest.
220 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
'Tis I appoint thy daily lot ;
And I do all things well :
Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot,
And rise with me to dwell.
u Come unto me, ye weary, come!
Ye heavy laden, cease to roam !
T will refresh the weary breast,
And give the lab'ring spirit rest."
Sweet word ! it calms my troubled soul ;
It bids my sorrows cease to roll ;
Sits, like the Halcyon on the deep,
And hushes all my woes to sleep.
Here, at thy feet, 'tis good to be,
Thy word to hear, thy face to see ;
Thy freedom's easy yoke to wear ;
The burden of thy love to bear.
Saviour, thy promise I believe,
Nor ever would thy presence leave :
But seek, upon thy gentle breast,
The foretaste of eternal rest.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 221
Come not, O Lord ! in the dread robe of splendour
Thou wor'st on the Mount, in the day of thine ire ;
Come veil'd in those shadows, deep, awful, but tender.
Which mercy flings over thy features of fire !
Lord ! thou rememb'rest the night, when thy nation
Stood fronting her foe by the red-rolling stream.
On Egypt thy pillar frownM dark desolation,
While Israel bask'd all the night in its beam.
So, when the dread clouds of anger enfold thee,
From us, in thy mercy, the dark side remove ;
While shrouded in terrors, the guilty behold thee,
O ! turn upon us the mild light of thy love !
When I can trust my all with God,
In trial's fearful hour,
Bow all resigned beneath his rod,
And bless his sparing power ;
A joy springs up amid distress,
A fountain in the wilderness.
Oh, to be brought to Jesus' feet,
Though sorrows fix me there,
222 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Is still a privilege ; and sweet
The energies of prayer,
Though sighs and tears its language be,
If Christ be nigh and smile on me.
Come, escape from the tempests of life *,
From the world to the desert retire :
Quit this region of tumult and strife,
To rekindle the heavenly fire.
Poor pilgrim, thy strength must be sought
In the heart-breathing accents of prayer :
In public the battle be fought,
But in secret the weapon prepare.
O rest from thy labours awhile :
Go alone, on the Mount, with thy Lord :
Go, bask in the beam of his smile,
And feed on the wealth of his word.
Retirement! tbou celestial solacer !
The care-tost voyager's dear, welcome bay,
Faint with the beating storm of adverse life.
God's presence lightens all our cares,
And makes our burdens light ;
A word from him dispels our fears,
And gilds the gloom of night.
Lord, we expect to suffer here,
Nor would we dare repine ;
But give us still to find thee near,
And own us still for thine.
Far from the world, O Lord ! I flee,
From strife and tumult far;
From scenes where Satan wages still
His most successful war.
The calm retreat, the silent shade,
With prayer and praise agree ;
And seem, by thy sweet bounty, made
For those who follow thee.
224 SABBATH RETIREMENT,
There if thy spirit touch the soul,
And grace her mean abode,
Oh ! with what peace, and joy, and love,
She communes with her God !
There, like the nightingale, she pours
Her solitary lays ;
Nor asks a witness of her song,
Nor thirsts for human praise.
Author and Guardian of my life,
Sweet source of light divine,
And (all harmonious names in one)
My Saviour, thou art mine !
What thanks I owe thee, and what love,
A boundless, endless store,
Shall echo through the realms above,
When time shall be no more.
I was toss'd on the billows of life ;
I endeavour'd their rage to control :
More fierce grew the turbulent strife ;
The waters went over my soul.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 225
In the midst of the pitiless storm,
One appeared, who was mighty to save :
The darkness was chased by his form ;
He trod on the fathomless wave.
In his looks, in his words, was a charm,
Which* commanded the tempest to cease ;
The billows were hushed to a calm 5
Within and without there was peace.
How shall I follow him I serve?
How shall I copy him I love ?
Nor from those blessed footsteps swerve,
Which lead me to his seat above ?
Privations, sorrows, bitter scorn,
The toil of life, the mean abode,
The faithless kiss, the crown of thorn,
Are these the consecrated road ?
'Twas thus he suffered, though a Son,
Foreknowing, choosing, feeling all ;
Until the perfect work was done,
And drunk the bitter cup of gall.
226 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
Oh ! should my path through suffering lie,
Forbid it I should e'er repine !
Still let me turn to Calvary,
Nor heed my griefs, remembering thine.
But when my days with comforts crown'd,
As husband and as parent blest,
I look with tearful joy around,
And clasp my treasures to my breast :
Oh! let me think how thou didst leave,
Untasted, every pure delight
To fast, to faint, to watch, to grieve,
The toilsome day, the houseless night : —
To faint, to grieve, to die for me !
Thou earnest not thyself to please !
And dear as earthly comforts be,
Shall I not love thee more than these ?
Yes, I would count them all but loss,
To gain the notice of thine eye.
Flesh shrinks and trembles at the cross,
But thou canst give the victory,
'Thou, who for Peter's faith didst pray ;
Against whose blessed self were UurlM
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 227
The Tempter's darts, be thou my stay !
Help me to overcome the world.
Thy grace can make the boastful meek.
The wavering firm, the sensual pure ;
Put heavenly might upon the weak,
And make them happy who endure.
Oh, still that needful grace afford !
On thee, my trembling soul I cast :
Perfect thy work within me, Lord,
And own my worthless name at last !
See Judah's promisM King, bereft of all,
Driven out an exile from the face of Saul ;
To distant caves the lonely wanderer flies,
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice ;
Hear him, overwhelmed with sorrow, yet rejoice ;
No womanish or wailing grief has part,
No, not a moment in his royal heart ;
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,
Suffering with gladness for a Saviour's sake ;
His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
228 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
And wiids, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before :
>Tis love like his, that can alone defeat
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet.
Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Depth, length, and breadth, no creature knows;
Dimly T see thy beauteous light,
And sigh to taste thy sweet repose ;
My heart is painM, nor can it be
At rest, until it rests in thee.
Is there a thing, beneath the sun,
That strives with thee my heart to share ?
Oh ! tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of every motion there :
Then shall my heart indeed be free,
When it hath found repose in thee.
O wean me from myself, that I
No more, but Christ in me, may live ;
My vile affections crucify.
Nor let one fleshly lust survive.
In all things may I nothing see,
Nothing desire or seek but thee.
SABBATH RETIREMENT. 229
Each moment draw from earth away
My heart, which waits thy call divine ;
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
u I am the living God, and thine."
To feel thine influence, hear thy voice.
To taste thy love, be all my choice.
Hail silent fields ! with your inhabitant
Blest Contemplation ! friendly to the soul.
Yet grateful interruption may ye here
By change admit ; of flocks that bleating feed,
And herds deep lowing, and the music shrill,
Heard round me of the insect's buzzing wing,
And, loud, of early birds the varied charm.
These praise their Maker all, and lift in praise
The pious heart to join in Nature's prayer ;
Nor things of voice alone, each humid flower
Its incense breathes to thee, each dewy plant
And grassy spire, thick-strung with native pearl.
Almighty Father ! flocks, and herds, and birds,
Insects, and flowers, and plants, all Nature's births,
All praise thy goodness, all — but thankless man !
Man, most ungrateful ! most obliged of all !
230 SABBATH RETIREMENT.
• • by wing'd intercourse of faith, —
Faith, hope, and love, exhaling prayer and praise, —
By God's own Spirit visiting the breast,
And hallowing as his temple ; — walk with God,
And see Him though invisible, nor feel
His presence least when none beside is nigh,
Nor hear him least when all are mute beside ;
Never less lonely than when thus alone,
Alone with God ! — Oh heavenly solitude,
Out-beggaring all companionship of earth !
Oh silence, sweeter than all harmony..
Save that, which it anticipates, of heaven !
Then, in the omnipresence of our soul,
The omnipresence of our God we prove.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 231
THE SABBATH EVENING.
Sweet hour ! it seems the Sabbath's own repose!
Its gentle breeze feels like the breath of heaven !
Its twilight, as the dawn of glory, beams
With soften'd radiance ; while the whispering airs
Swell on the ear as echoes from the blest.
My Saviour, let me give the hour to thee.
The cheerful supper done, with serious face,
They round the ingle form a circle wide ;
The sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,
The big Ha'-Bible, once his father's pride :
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare ;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide ?
He wales a portion with judicious care ;
And " Let us worship God !" he says, with solemn
232 THE SABBATH EVENING.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim ;
Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive Martyrs', worthy of the name ;
Or noble Elgin's beats the heaven-ward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays.
Compared with these, Italian trills are tame :
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ;
No unison have they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abraham was the friend of God on high ;
Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
Or, how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of heaven's avenging ire ;
Or, Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry ;
Or, rapt Isaiah's wild seraphic fire ;
Or, other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed ;
How He, who bore in heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head ;
How his first followers and servants sped ;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land ;
How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 233
Saw in the Sun a mighty angel stand ;
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by
Then, kneeling down, to heaven's eternal King
The saint, the father, and the husband, prays:
Hope ' springs exulting on triumphant wings,'
That thus they all shall meet in future days ;
There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, nor shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear,
While circling time moves rcund in an eternal
Compared with this, how poor religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display, to congregations wide,
Devotion's every grace except the heart !
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
The pompous train, the sacerdotal stole ;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul,
And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.
234 THE SABBATH EVENING,
Is there a time when mo^sments flow
More lovelily than all beside ?
It is, of all the times below,
A Sabbath-eve in summer-tide.
Oh ! then the setting sun smiles fair,
And all below, and all above,
The different forms of nature wear
One universal garb of love.
And then the peace that Jesus beams,
The life of grace, the death of sin,
With nature's placid woods and streams,
Is peace without and peace within.
Delightful scene ! a world at rest,
A God of love, no grief nor fear,
A heavenly hope, a peaceful breast,
A smile unsullied by a tear.
If heaven be ever felt below,
A scene so heavenly pure as this
May cause a heart on earth to know
Some foretaste of celestial bliss.
Delightful hour ! how soon will night
Spread her dark mantle o'er thy reign ;
THE SABBATH EVENING. 235
And morrow's quick returning light
Must call us to the world again.
Yet will there dawn, at last, a day ;
A sun, that never sets, shall rise ;
Night will not veil his ceaseless ray ;
The heavenly Sabbath never dies.
No place inspires
Emotions more accordant with the day,
Than does the field of graves, the land of rest :—
Oft, at the close of evening-prayer, the toll,
The solemn funeral-toll, pausing, proclaims
The service of the tomb : the homeward crowds
Divide on either hand ; the pomp draws near ;
The choirs to meet the dead go forth, and sing
J am the resurrection and the life.
The Sabbath of the tomb ! The dead in Christ
Repose in guarded rest. Hope, in their grave,
Kindles her never-dying lamp, and throws
Upon their treasured dust a steady ray,
236 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Full, full of immortality ; — and Peace
Spreads motionless her silent pinions o'er
The consecrated soil, where angels keep
Their vigils, until time shall be no more.
Brother ! thou art gone before us, and thy saintly
soul is flown
Where tears are wiped from every eye, and sorrow is
From the burthen of the flesh, and from care and fear
Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the
weary are at rest.
The toilsome way thou'st travelled o'er, and borne
the heavy load ;
But Christ hath taught thy languid feet to reach his
Thou'rt sleeping now, like Lazarus upon his Father's
Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the
weary are at rest.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 237
Sin can never taint thee now, nor doubt thy faith as-
Nor thy meek trust in Jesus Christ and the Holy
Spirit fail ;
And there thou'rt sure to meet the good, whom on
earth thou loved 'st best,
Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the
weary are at rest.
" Earth to earth, and dust to dust," the solemn priest
hath said ;
So we lay the turf above thee now, and we seal thy
narrow bed :
But thy spirit, brother ! soars away among the faith-
Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the
weary are at rest.
And when the Lord shall summon us, whom thou hast
May we, untainted by the world, as sure a welcome
May each, like thee, depart in peace, to be a glorious
Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the
weary are at rest !
238 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Now, when the downward sun has left the glens,
Each mountain's rugged lineaments are traced
Upon the adverse slope, where stalks gigantic
The shepherd's shadow thrown athwart the chasm,
As on the topmost ridge he homeward hies.
How deep the hush ! The torrent's channel, dry,
Presents a stony steep, the echo's haunt.
But hark, a plaintive sound floating along !
? Tis from yon heath-roofed shieling. Now it dies
Away, now rises full. It is the song
Which He, who listens to the hallelujahs
Of choiring Seraphim, delights to hear ;
It is the music of the heart, the voice
Of venerable age, of guileless youth,
In kindly circle seated on the ground,
Before their wicker door. Behold the man,
The grandsire and the saint ! before him lies,
Upon the smooth-cropt sward, the open book,
His comfort, stay, and ever new delight !
While, heedless at his side, the lisping boy
Fondles the lamb that nightly shares his couch.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 239
It happen'd on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He, that was our surety, died,
Two bosom-friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village — busied, as they went,
In musings worthy of the great event.
They spake of him they loved ; of him whose life
Though blameless, had incurrM perpetual strife ;
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The farther traced, enrichM them still the more:
They thought him, and they justly thought him, one
Sent to do more than he appear'd t' have done —
T 7 exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else ; and wonder'd he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
And ask'd them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and beggM a share.
InformM, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
ExplainM, illustrated, and searched so well
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell,
That, reaching home — The night, they said, is near ;
We must not now be parted : sojourn here.
240 THE SABBATH EVENING.
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
He blessM the bread ; but vanished at the word,
And left them both exclaiming — 'Twas the Lord !
Did not our hearts feel all he deign'd to say?
Did they not burn within us by the way ?
And He is present still. He still shall bless
The thorny path of life's rough wilderness.
He still bids springs of living water rise,
And heavenly food with ceaseless care suppiies.
And when by Death's cold stream we trembling stand,
The stream which oars us from our promised land,
His voice shall calm our fears, his hand shall guide
Our fainting footsteps through that fiercer tide,
And land us safely on our Canaan's shore,
Where toil, and tears, and death, are known no more.
All welcome to thine earthly bed,
Thou pilgrim, to thy home at last ;
Here rest thy worn and weary head,
The bitterness of death is past.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 241
Humble thy grave, and not a stone
Tells where thy slumbering body lies ;
But God there smiles, and that alone
A glory sheds that never dies!
The flowers that o'er this low bed bloom,
The mantling turf that wraps it round,
How lovelier than the costly tomb,
With piles of massy marble orown'd !
Then slumber here — in Jesus sleep —
Thy Saviour and thy God is nigh ;
This mortal He will safely keep,
Till raisM in immortality !
Oh ! what a burst of mind shall glow,
When disencumbered of this clod I
Thou, who on earth couldst little know,
Shalt rise to comprehend thy God.
349 the' sabbath evening.
Death is the crown cf life :
Were death denyM, poor man would live in vain .
Were death deny'd, to live would net be life :
Were death deny'd, e'en fools would wish to die.
Death wounds to cure ; we fall, we rise, we reign \
Spring from our fetters, fasten in the skies,
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight.
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost:
This king of terrors is the prince of peace.
When shall I die to vanity, pain, death ?
When shall I die ? — When shall I live for ever t
As, when the silent Queen of Night,
By silvery clouds surrounded, beams.
She does not vanish from our sight,
But to the eye still lovelier seems :
So, round the dead, does memory fling
A halo, which endears them more
And cherish/d feelings fondly cling
To what seems lovelier than before.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 243
Another day has pass'd along,
And we are nearer to the tomb ;
Nearer to join the heavenly song,
Or hear the last eternal doom.
i'hese moments of departing day,
When thought is calm, and labours cease,
Are surely solemn times to pray,
To ask for pardon and for peace !
Thou God of Mercy, swift to hear,
More swift than man to tell his rieed ;
Be Thou to us this evening near,
And to thy fount our spirits lead.
Teach us to pray— and, having taught,
Grant us the blessings that we crave *,
Without thy teaching— prayer is nought,
But with it — powerful to save!
Life's a debtor to the grave ;
Dark lattice ! letting in eternal day.
244 THE SABBATH EVENING.
At evening, from the loneliness of crowds
Escap'd, the Christian oft, like Isaac, seeks
The crowded infinite of solitude ;
Or in his meditative cell, or rather
Under the canopy of countless worlds
That breathe, with such a solemn eloquen ce,
Of Presence all-pervading ! Oft in God,
Centre of souls, he meets his distant friends ;
Distant as each from other here may dwell,
Yea, as eternity from time : their frames
Of dust are sever'd, but their spirits join.
He joins the spirits perfected ; the host
Of angels, " number without number;" sends
His thoughts, forerunners of himself, to heaven,
And antedates eternity in time.
The light of Sabbath Eve
Is fading fast away ;
What record will it leave
To crown the closing day ?
Is it a Sabbath spent
Fruitless, and vain, and void?
Or have these moments, lent,
Been sacredly employ 'd ?
THE SABBATH EVENING. 245
How dreadful and how drear,
In yon dark world of pain,
Will Sabbaths lost appear,
That cannot come again J
Then, in that hopeless place,
The tortur'd soul will say —
I had those hours of grace,
But cast them all away !
God of these Sabbath hours,
Oh ! may we never dare
To waste, in thoughts of ours,
These sacred days of prayer !
Through sorrow's night, and danger's path.
Amid the deepening gloom,
We, soldiers of an injured King,
Are marching to the tomb.
There, when the turmoil is no more,
And all our power decay,
Our cold remains, in solitude,
Shall sleep the years away.
246 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Our labours done, securely laid
In this our last retreat,
Unheeded, o'er our silent dust,
The storms of life shall beat.
Yet not thus lifeless, thus inane,
The vital spark shall lie,
For o'er life's wreck that spark shall rise
To see its kindred sky.
These ashes too, this little dust,
Our Father's care shall keep,
Till the last angel rise, and break
The long and dreary sleep.
Then love's soft dew o'er every eye
Shall shed its mildest rays,
And the long silent dust shall burst,
With shouts of endless praise.
H. K. White,
That awful hour will soon appear.
Swift on the wings of time it flies,
When all that pains or pleases here
Will vanish from my closing eyes,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 24*
Death calls my friends, my neighbours hence.
And none resist the fatal dart ;
Continual warnings strike my sense :
And shall they fail to strike my heart?
Think, O my soul ! how much depends
On the short period of a day ;
Shall time, which Heaven in mercy lends ;
Be negligently thrown away ?
Thy remnant minutes strive to use ;
Awake ! rouse every active power !
And not in dreams and trifles lose
This little — this important hour !
Lord of my life ! inspire my heart
With heavenly ardour, grace divine ;
Nor let thy presence e'er depart,
For strength, and life, and death, are thine.
O teach me the celestial skill
Each awful warning to improve !
And while my days are shortening still,
Prepare me for the joys above !
248 THE SABBATH EVENING.
How calm is the summer-sea wave!
How softly is swelling its breast I
The bank it just reaches to lave,
Then sinks on its bosom to rest.
No dashing, nor foaming, nor roar,
But mild as a zephyr its play ;
It drops scarcely heard on the shore,
And passes in silence away,
As calm is the action of death
On the haleyon mind of the just ;
As gently he rifles their breath,
As gently dissolves them to dust.
Not a groan, nor a pain, nor a tear,
Nor a grief, nor a wish, nor a sigh,
Nor a cloud, nor a doubt, nor a fear ;
But as calm as a slumber they die.
How joyous will that moment be,
When first from mortal fetters freed,
This drear abode we willing^flee,
And soaring swift to bliss we speed.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 249
So strange, so sweet that change will come,
With wondering joy our spirits rise,
In glory, to that long lost home
We oft have sought with weeping eyes :
The sufferer 'mid his dying strife,
Ne'er felt such balm his soul surprise,
When he, who call'd him first to life,
From Death's chill couch once bade him rise !
Such glowing life, or beauty bright,
Ne'er on the blind fresh vision broke,
When he who said, Let there be light,
Again that word in mercy spoke.
'Tis still his voice that bids us rise,
When Death's dark shade hath o'er us past ;
It is not life, but death that dies,
When the thick shroud is round us cast,
Tho' mortals weep a creature dead,
Yet angels hail a brother born ;
The body sinks to night's dark bed,
The spirit hails an endless morn.
250 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Believe, and look with triumph on the tomb.
The sun parts faintly from the wave,
The moon and stars are beaming ;
The corse is covered in the grave,
And infants now are dreaming :
But time conveys with rapid power,
Alike the sweetest saddest hour !
The rain has showered, the bud has burst ;
The wind o'er oceau bellowM ;
Nature the birth of evening nurst,
And thought my feelings mellow M \
O ! sacred Truth, from Heaven descend;
Thou art my guardian and my friend !
I'll tune my harp, I'll strike its wires —
My Saviour's praise to waken ;
His love refines my warmest fires,
And keeps my heart unshaken ;
And thus melodious chords arise,
And tone my feelings for the skies.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 251
Oft may the spirits of the dead decend
To watch the silent slumbers of a friend ;
To hover round his evening-walk unseen,
And hold sweet converse on the dusky green ;
To hail the spot where first their friendship grew.
And heaven and nature open'd to their view !
Oft, when he trims his cheerful hearth, and see.-.
A smiling circle emulous to please ;
There may these gentle guests delight to dwell,
And bless the scene they lov'd in life so well !
Pve watchM the sea-bird calmly glide.
Unruffled, o'er the ocean tide :
Unscared, she heard the waters roar
In foaming breakers on the shore.
Fearless of ill, herself she gave
To rise upon the lifting wave,
Or sink, to be awhile unseen,
The undulating swells between :
Till, as the evening shadows grew,
Noiseless, unheard, aloft she flew.
While soaring to her rock-built nest
A sunbeam lighted on her breast : —
A moment glittered in mine eye,
Then quickly vanishM through the sky.
252 THE SABBATH EVENING,
While by the pebbly beach I stood,
That sea-bird on the waving flood
Pictur'd to my enraptur'd eye
A soul at peace with God. Now high,
Now low, upon the gulf of life
Rais'd or depressed, in peace or strife,
Calmly she kens the changeful wave :
She dreads no storm — she fears no grave.
To her, the world's tumultuous roar
Dies like the echo on the shore.
" Father ! thy pleasure all fulfil,
I yield me to thy sovereign will.
Let earthly comforts ebb or rise,
Tranquil on thee my soul relies."
Then, as advance the shades of night,
Long plum'd, she takes her heaven-ward flight :
But, as she mounts, I see her fling
A beam of glory from her wing :
A moment — to my aching sight
Lost in the boundless fields of light,
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death,
To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun,
And lands Thought smoothly on the further shore.
Death's terror is the mountain Faith removes,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 253
That mountain-barrier between man and peace.
'Tis Faith disarms Destruction, and absolves
From ev'ry clamorous charge the guiltless tomb.
Then start not at its transient gloom ;
Let Faith and Hope beyond the tomb
Their eagle glances fling :
Angels unseen are hovering nigh,
And Seraph hosts exulting cry,
" O Grave ! where is thy victory ?
" O Death! where is thy sting V
For soon before Jehovah's throne,
Thy soul redeeming love shall own,
And join the sacred choir ;
Who to the Lamb their anthems raise,
And tune theiF harps to deathless lays
Of humble, grateful, holy praise,
While listening saints admire.
254 THE SABBATH EVEX1XG.
There is a spot of earth
Which mars the hour of mirth,
Knowing that there its merriment must cease ,
But to the mourner's breast
It whispers thoughts of rest,
And seems the haven where he hopes for peace.
Christ watches o'er the embers
Of all his faithful dead ;
There's life for all the members
In Him, the living head.
Their dust he weighs and measures ;
Their every atom treasures.
He once, a victor bleeding,
Slew Death, destroyed the grave.
Now throned, yet interceding,
He lives thy soul to save.
He comes, O day of wonder !
The graves are rent asunder.
But oh, that vast transition !
How shall a creature dare
Gaze on the awful vision,
To find a Saviour there ?
THE SABBATH EVENING. 255
They, whom he deigns to cherish,
Shall never, never perish.
His mercy shall prevent them,
His righteousness invest :
He shall himself present them
Before the Father, drest
In robes of spotless whiteness,
All beauty, joy, and brightness.
Evening, with a silent pace,
Slowly moving in the west,
Shews an emblem of his grace,
Points to an eternal rest !
Ere yet the evening star, with silvery ray.
Sheds its mild lustre on this sacred day,
Let us resume, with thankful hearts again,
The rites that Reason and that Heaven ordain.
Still let those precious truths our thoughts engage,
Which shine revealed on inspiration's page ;
256 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Nor those blest hours in vanity be past,
Which all, who lavish, will lament at last.
O God, our Saviour ! in our hearts abide ;
Thy blood redeems us, and thy precepts guide ;
In life our guardian, and in death our friend,
Sustain and lead us to our journey's end !
And as yon sun descending rolls away,
To rise in glory at return of day,
So may we set, our transient being o'er,
To rise in glory on the eternal shore.
Mark where the wave, at eventide,
In seeming slumber lies j
Mark how its glassy face reflects
The richly-painted skies.
The brightest hues of heaven there
In faint resemblance shine,
Though oft the passing ripple breaks
The beautiful design.
So, when redeeming love has soothM
Man's stormy soul to rest ;
THE SABBATH EVENING. 257
No more by raging passion tossM,
By anxious sorrow prest ;
Cold and unstable in himself
As yonder changeful waves,
His bosom still reflects to heaven
The image it receives.
Let me think of that evening, the saddest, the last,
In the Saviour's mysterious sojourn below,
When he sat with the Twelve at their mournful
And mingled his tears in the cup of their woe.
Why falls the reproof on these sheep of his hand ?
In this hour of distress can a traitor be nigh ?
Why breaks from the lips of this desolate band
The sorrowful question, u Lord, is it I?"
If a traitor was found 'midst the privileged few ;
If its own hidden treason each heart could
Let my poor startled conscience each moment re-
The anxious inquiry, " Lord, is it It*'
258 THE SABBATH EVENING.
O thou Searcher of hearts, whose mystical line
Can fathom a breast too deceitful for me,
Try all the recesses and windings of mine,
And help me to cast all its sorrows on thee !
Tis sweet, in journeying through this vale of tears,
To gather its fair flowers , to pay, and prove
Blessings and sympathies, and acts of love,
And so to sink into the lap of years :
But sweeter, when life's evening star appears,
To see religion's holy vision bright,
Hover on wings of righteousness and light,
Smiling kind invitations from above.
What tho' a thousand or ten thousand graves
Arrest our stumbling footsteps — they are nought
But seats of rest, where the life-wearied thought
Reposes—while divinest glory waves
Her palms of victory o'er the grassy heaps. —
Life's journey is oft wearisome and wild ;
And there Affliction's tired and troubled child
On Nature's all-composing bosom sleeps,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 259
Hark ! on that sigh a soui hath risen to rest,
Sweet was the smile that bid it burst to life ;
A heaven-born beam illumed his dying breast,
And gently still'd its last convulsive strife :
Calm was the setting of that summer sun,
And round its throne, still glory bursts on high |
Though sunk awhile, not yet its race is run,
It decks another, and a brighter sky.
Still round those lips a smile celestial plays,
Sweet presage of the soul's unchanging lot
Each weeping friend awhile may sadly gaze,
Till grief amid the memory be forgot,
A holy triumph sits around his brow,
Calm seems that cheek, as if 'twere bliss to die !
But where is fled the soul's expression now,
Where the deep lustre of that liquid eye?
-Tis closed on earth to joy, or pain, or woe,
Yet not for aye it sleeps in death's dark night,
Again 'twill in seraphic rapture glow,
Again 'twill rise, and kindle into light !
Attend, ye sons of wealth, and pomp, and pow'r.
Gaze on that form, and mark its heavenly mien.
260 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Your gayest look?, in pleasure's brightest hour,
Ne'er wore one feature of that bliss serene :
Your pleasure is but as the lightning's glare
Through jarring clouds of elemental woe,
A transient gleam athwart the dusky air,
That wraps in deeper gloom the world below !
His was the settled sunshine of the soul,
That ever cheered the scene so mild and fair ;
O'er that clear sky perchance a cloud might roll,
But still the sun of light and life was there.
His glorious deeds no future tongue may tell,
And history's page may ne'er record his name ;
What though no loud achievement e'er shall swell
The brazen trumpet of unhallowed fame :
A higher bliss he sought; nor sought in vain
The lowly path which holy men have trod ;
Through this wide wilderness of woe and pain,
Heav'n his unchanged support — his refuge, God !
Death came not clad in form of fear or pain,
But gently rose his mission to fulfil,
Soft as the shadow stealing o'er the plain,
Or as the night-breeze dying on the hill !
THE SABBATH EVENING. 261
That evening cloud hath even swept away
The insect fluttering on its purple wing,
Which rose to life with morning's fairest ray,
And wildly wanton 'd in the breath of spring:
That chilling blast hath chilPd the flowret's bloom,
Which spread its opening beauties to the skies ;
It withering sinks for ever to the tomb,
From earth's cold bosom ne'er that flower may
But yon fair form of disembodied light,
Hath but exchanged a prison for a throne ;
And soon from heaven will take its joyous flight,
To claim the sleeping body for its own !
Parting soul ! the flood awaits thee,
And the billows round thee roar;
Yet look on — the crystal city
Stands on yon celestial shore :
There are crowns and thrones of glory,
There the living waters glide ;
There the just, in shining raiment,
Wander by Immanuel's side.
262 THE SABBATH EVENING,
dinger not — tiie stream is narrow,
Though its cold dark waters rise ;
He who passed the flood before thee,
Guides thy path to yonder skies :
Hark ! the sound of angels hymning
Roils harmonious o*er thine ear ;
See ! the walls and golden portals
Through the mist of death appear.
Soul adieu— this gloomy sojourn
Holds thy captive feet no more ;
Flesh is dropt, and sin forsaken,
Sorrow done, and weeping o'er.
Through the tears thy friends are shedding,
Smiles of hope serenely shine ;
Not a friend remains behind thee,
But would change his lot for thine*
Man lieth down, no more to wake,
Till yonder arching sphere
Shall with a roll of thunder break,
And nature disappear.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 2g|
— Oh hide, me, till thy wrath be past,
Thou, who canst kill or save ;
Hide me, where hope may anchor fast,
In my Redeemer's grave.
Haste, seize the proffered hope of heaven,
While life and light are yet thine own ;
Swift as the passing cloud of even,
Time glides along, and thou art gone !
Sweet is the light of Sabbath Eve,
And soft the sunbeam lingering there ;
Those sacred hours this low earth leave,
Wafted on wings of praise and prayer.
This time, how lovely and how still !
Peace shines, and smiles on all below ;
The plain, the stream, the wood, the hill,
All fair with evening's setting glow !
Season of best — the tranquil soul
Feels thy sweet calm and melts in love :
264 THtf SABBATH EVENING.
And while these sacred moments roll,
Faith sees a smiling heaven above.
How short the time, how soon the sun
Sets, and dark night resumes her reign ;
And soon the hours of rest are done,
Then morrow brings the world again.
Yet will our journey not be long,
Our pilgrimage will soon be trod ;
And we shall join the ceaseless song,
The endless Sabbath of our God.
The setting sun, in robes of crimson red,
And purple gorgeous, clothes the glowing west,
While sober Eve, in misty mantle clad,
One bright star, lovely, beaming on her breast,
With feet all bathed in dew, comes slowly from the
Now closed, the daisy droops its dewy head,
Hush'd are the woods, the breathing fields are still ;
And soft beneath the meadow's flowery pride,
Creeps, gurgling on its way, the mossy rill.
Sublimely solemn rolls the mingling swell,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 265
At times, with many a mournful pause between,
Of streams, wild rushing down the sounding dell,
Of voices bursting wild from shapes uuseen,
And flocks that distant bleat, far o'er the flowery
Fast follows on the cloud of night's dark noon,
And bright the fires of heaven begin to blaze *,
While o'er the misty mountain's head, the moon
Pours in a streaming flood her silver rays,
White, on the pool, her radiance flickering plays,
Where shadows, faintly glimmering, shadows mar,
And clear, the cottage window, to the gaze
Of solitary wanderer, gleaming far
Up yonder green hill side, appears a glittering star.
The poor man here, in converse with the sky,
Lone, o'er the uplands holds his wandering way ;
His bosom swells, he heaves the frequent sigh,
And tears start sudden ere he well knows wby,
'Tis nature melts him — verging to decay,
Through all her works, she pours the weary groan ;
Ev'n now, by faith, he hails th' eventful day —
He hears the trump of God, the great white throne
Is raised, Creation melts, lo ! Heaven and Earth arc
266 THE SABBATH EVENING.
" And thou, my soul," lie cries, " shalt thou survive,
"When, quench'd in years, these living fires shall
(i Yes, in immoital vigour thou shalt live,
u And soar and sing when ev'ry star is fled,
(t For so hath God-— God my Redeemer said '.
" A higher song than seraph's shall be thine,
" Yea, though in mouldering clay this flesh be laid,
" These very lips, with energy divine,
" Heaven's high resounding harp in holy hymns shall
'• To God, for ever let thy song ascend,
" Though stormy bowlings sweep thy rugged path ;
" Though weeping woe thy straiten'd steps attend,
" And Sin thy green leaves soil with burning
%i breath ;
" There yet remains a rest revealM to faith,
" A rest from sin, and all its dire distress ;
" A Sabbath sweet, beyond the realms of death,
" Bright with the beams of God's all gracious face \
'- The gift of sovereign love, the rich reward of
THE SABBATH EVENING. 267
FiR'D at the prospect of unclouded bliss,
Heaven in reversion, like the sun, as yet
Beneath the horizon, cheers us in this world ;
It sheds on souls, susceptible of light,
The glorious dawn of one eternal day.
Ceasr thy struggles, mortal life !
Earthly vapour, pass away !
Spirit! end the bitter strife,
Burst thy prison-house of clay !
Grasping flesh, forbear thy hold !
Though thy gates and bars be strong,
Thy pulse is still ! thy heart is cold !
Thou canst not keep thy captive long*
WrappM in the shroud, the earth's cool breast
Shall be thy bed for many a year ;
And not a dream disturb thy rest,
Nor pain provoke a single tear.
Safer than gold in eastern mines,
Safer than gem in ocean's cave,
Thy scattered relics shall recline
In the deep coffers of the grave.
268 THE SABBATH EVENING.
There, till the Angel's trumpet sound,
Ages of silence thou shalt lie ;
Then, from thine earthly cell rebound,
Beauteous with immortality.
Then loose thy hold, thy power is vain !
Thy sister soul and thee must sever ;
But thou shalt join her soon again,
In lovelier bands, that last for ever.
" Thanks be to God, who giveth evermore
" The victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord !-'
Such is the joyful anthem ; but before
Its full, triumphal echoes can be pour'd
Through^ heaven's high courts, and God can be
By thee, in that beatitude, thou must
Be born again ; and thus, by grace restor'd
Unto his favour, even from the dust
Thou shalt be rais'd again, to join the good and just.
For this corruptible must first put on
An essence incorrupt ; this mortal be,
Ere such pure blessedness by man is won.
Clothed upon with immortality.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 269
Then from corruption's deep defilements free,
Mortal in immortality array'd ;
Death shall be swallowM up in victory ;
And thou, thy thirst by living streams allay M,
Shall enter in the gates where pain nor grief invade.
I heard, from heaven crying,
An angel voice that said,
BlessM are the dead, in Jesus dying,
Yea, blessed are the dead.
Sleep thou in Christ, my sister ! Rest
Is thine, the slumber of the blest.
I heard, from earth proceeding,
Another voice proclaim :
This dust, in beauty far exceeding
The frail decaying frame,
Shall be refunded all, shall rise
Fit for the service of the skies.
270 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Welcome the hour of sweet repose,
The evening of the Sabbath day !
In peace my wearied eyes shall close
When I have tuned my vesper lay>
In humble gratitude, to Him
Who waked the morning's earliest beam.
In such an hour as this how sweet,
In the calm solitude of even,
To hold with Heaven communion meet,
Meet for a spirit bound to heaven ;
And, in this wilderness beneath,
Pure zephyrs from above to breathe !
Deathless principle, arise I
Soar, thou native of the skies I
Pearl of price by Jesus bought,
To his glorious likeness wrought,
Go, to shine before his throne,
Deck his mediatorial crown ;
Go, his triumphs to adorn,
Made for God, to God return.
Lo, he beckons from on high f
Fearless to bis presence fly »
THE SABBATH EVENING. 271
Thine the merit of his blood,
Thine the righteousness of God !
Angels, joyful to attend,
Hov'ring round thy pillow bend ;
Wait to catch the signal given,
And escort thee quick to heaven ?
Is thy earthly house distrest ?
Willing to retain its guest ?
-Tis not thou, but it, must die —
Fly, celestial tenant, fly !
Burst thy shackles, drop thy clay,
Sweetly breathe thyself away.
Singing to thy crown remove,
Swift of wing, and fired with love.
Shudder not to pass the stream,
Venture all thy care on him,
Him, whose dying love and power
StilPd its tossing, hushM its war :
Safe is the expanded wave,
Gentle as a summer's eve ;
Not one object of his care
Ever sufferM shipwreck there !
See the haven full in view,
Love divine shall bear thee through ;
272 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Trust to that propitious gale,
Weigh thy anchor, spread thy sail !
Saints in glory perfect made,
Wait thy passage through the shade :
Ardent for thy coming o'er,
See, they throng the blissful shore !
Mount, their transports to improve.
Join the longing choir above,
Swiftly to their wish be given,
Kindle higher joy in heaven !
Such the prospects that arise
To the dying Christian's eyes !
Such the glorious vista, faith
Opens through the shades of death !
When day, with farewell beam, delays
Among the opening clouds of even,
And we can almost think we gaze
Thro' golden vista's into heaven ;
Those hues, that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord ! are thine.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 273
There is a beam upon the hill,
There is a light that lingers still
On ocean's breast ;
There is a blush of rosy light
Steals o'er the diadem of night
Far in the west.
A starry gem now sparkles there,
Piercing the robe of misty air
That wraps the earth,
And breaks thro' days departing gleam,
A trembling and unborrow'd beam
Of heavenly birth.
So when life's changing hour hath past,
And death's cold shades are gathering fast
Around thy head,
A ray of heaven will pierce the gloom.
And glimmer on thy closing tomb,
When day is fled !
Tho' setting now yon smiling ray,
And softly falls around thy way
Eve's parting glow ;
It tells of days to come as bright
As that which now hath turn'd its flight,
To skies below ;
214 The sabbath evening.
And tho' that night is dark and drear,
And clouds are hovering o'er thee there
Of doubt and sorrow ;
So sure as darkness dims thy skies,
Will on thy gladden'd vision rise
Another morrow !
Then why this dread, foreboding fear ?
If Death's cold hand, or Sorrows tear
Pass o'er thy cheek ;
t)arkness will but endure through night,
And joy returns, when morning light
That gloom shall break.
The ciouds, that had mantled the dark sky all day,
From the doors of the west are now breaking away ;
See the sun his fair face for a moment unfold,
Then set in a glory of crimson and gold !
Thus when life's fleeting day, by affliction o'ercast,
Has been beat by the tempest, and chillM by the
To the faint weary traveller sweet is the close,
Aiid welcome the moment that whispers repose*
THE SABBATH EVENING. 275
See, the shadows disperse ; not a vestige remains
Of his doubts or his terrors, his woes or his pains ;
All is clear, all is lovely, and brilliant in hue,
And heaven effulgent bursts forth on his view.
The twilight shadows o'er the darkening scene,
Earth, air, and ocean, all alike serene.
Dipt in the hues of sunset, wreath'd in zones,
The clouds are resting on their mountain thrones ;
One peak alone exalts its glacier crest,
A golden paradise, above the rest ;
Thither the day with lingering steps retires,
And in its own blue element expires;
Thus Aaron laid his gorgeous robes aside,
On Horeb's consecrated top, and died.
The moon, meanwhile, o'er ocean's sombre bed,
New-risen, a thousand glowworm lights hath spread ;
From east to west the wildfire splendours glance,
And all the billows in her glory dance;
Till, in mid-heaven, her orb might seem the eye
Of Providence, wide-watching from the sky,
While Nature slumbers ; — emblem of His grace,
Whose presence fills the infinite of space.
276 THE SABBATH EVENING,
Dear is the shadowy close of day to me :
The hour of silence and the hour of rest,
Which brings the weary where they sigh to be,
And sends the turtle to her downy nest ;
Gives the fair infant to its mother's breast,
Lures home the wanderer, (if a home he knows,
Shuts up the busy hours, and o'er the west
A fading robe of dying glory throws,
Signal for toil to cease, and yield to soft repose.
But dearer far a Christian's trembling eye
Deems of his sojourn here, the later hours ;
When Faith's refulgence falling from the skies
Her golden radiance o'er his sunset showers.
What tho' the passing cloud a moment lowers,
Sweet is the thought of ceaseless rest in heaven ;
That fairer land, than even Eden's bowers,
Where sin is sown not, and whence woe is driven,
And of all sorrows past, forgetfulness is given.
What are thine hopes, Humanity !— thy fears ?
Poor voyager upon this flood of years,
Whose tide, unturning, hurries to the sea
Of dark unsearchable eternity,
THE SABBATH EVENING. 277
The fragile skiffs, in which thy children sail
A day, an hour, a moment, with the gale,
Then vanish; — gone like eagles on the wind,
Or fish in waves, that yield and close behind.
Thine hopes — lost anchors buried in the deep,
That rust, through storm and calms, in iron sleep,
Whose cables, loose aloft and fixM below,
But with the sea-weed, floating to and fro !
Thy fears — are wrecks that strew the fatal surge,
Whose whirlpools swallow, or whose currents urge
Adventurous barks on rocks, that lurk at rest,
Where the blue halcyon builds her foam-light nest j
Or strand them on illumined shoals, that gleam
Like drifted gold in summer's cloudless beam,
Thus would thy race, beneath their parent's eye,
Live without knowledge, without prospect die.
But when Religion bids her spirit breathe,
And opens bliss above and woe beneath ;
When God reveals his march through Nature's night,
His steps are beauty, and his presence light,
His voice is life — the dead in conscience start ;
They feel a new creation in the heart.
Ah ! then, Humanity, thy hopes, thy fears,
How changed, how wond'rous! — On this tide of
Though the frail barks, in which thine offspring sail
Their day, their hour, their moment, with the gale,
278 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Must perish — shipwreck only sets them free ;
With joys unmeasured as eternity,
They ply on seas of glass their golden oars,
And pluck immortal fruits along the shores;
Nor shall their cables fail, their anchors rust,
Who wait the resurrection of the just:
MoorM on the rock of ages, though decay
Moulder the weak terrestrial frame away,
The trumpet sounds — and lo! wherever spread,
Earth, air, and ocean render back their dead.
And souls with bodies, spiritual and divine,
In the new heavens, like stars for ever shine.
These are thine hopes : — thy fears, what tongue can
Behold them graven on the gates of hell :
* The wrath of God abideth here : his breath
u Kindled the flames — this is the second death."
'Twas Mercy wrote the lines of judgment there;
None who from earth can read them may despair !
Man ! — let the warning strike presumption dumb ; —
Awake, arise, escape the wrath to come ;
No resurrection from that grave shall be ;
The worm within is — immortality.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 279
Hark ! 'tis the breeze of twilight, calling
Earth's weary children to repose ;
While, round the couch of nature falling,
Gently the night's soft curtains close.
Soon o'er a world, in sleep reclining,
Numberless stars, thro' yonder dark,
Shall look, like eyes of cherubs shining
From out the veils that hid the ark !
Guard us, oh Thou ! who never sleepest,
Thou who, in silence thron'd above,
Throughout all time, unwearied, keepest
Thy watch of glory, power, and love.
Grant that beneath thine eye, securely,
Our souls, awhile from life withdrawn,
May, in their darkness, stilly, purely,
Like " sealed fountains," rest till dawn.
One eye on death, and one full fix'd on heav'n,
Becomes a mortal and immortal man.
280 THE SABBATH EVENING.
O thou God, who hearest prayer,
Every hour and every where !
Listen to my feeble breath,
Now I touch the gates of death.
For His sake, whose blood I plead,
Hear me in my hour of need.
Hear and save me, gracious Lord !
For my trust is in thy word.
Wash me from the stain of sin,
That thy peace may rule within.
May I know myself thy child,
Ransom'd, pardoned reconcil'd.
Dearest Lord, may I so much
As thy garment's hem but touch ;
Or but raise my languid eye
To the Cross where thou didst die ;
It shall make my spirit whole,
It shall heal and save my soul.
Thou art merciful to save I
Thou hast snatch'd me from the grave !
I would kiss the chastening rod,
O my Father and my God !
Only hide not now thy face,
God of all-sufficient grace !
THE SABBATH EVENING. 281
Leave me not, my Strength, my Trust !
Oh, remember I am dust !
Leave me not again to stray ;
Leave me not the Tempter's prey.
Fix my heart on things above ;
Make me happy in thy love.
When the vale of death appears,
(Faint and cold this mortal clay,)
Kind forerunner, sooth my fears,
Light me through the darksome way ;
Break the shadows,
Usher in eternal day.
Starting from this dying state,
Upward bid my soul aspire :
Open thou the crystal gate,
To thy praise attune my lyre :
Dwell for ever,
Dwell on each immortal wire.
Fcom the sparkling turrets there,
Oft III trace my pilgrim way,
Often bless thy guardian care,
282 THE .SABBATH EVENING.
Fire by night and cloud by day ;
While my triumphs
At my Leader's feet I lay.
And when mighty trumpets blown,
Shall the judgment dawn proclaim,
From the central burning throne,
'Mid creation's final flame,
With the ransomed,
Judge and Saviour, own my name !
When the spark of life is waning,
Weep not for me ;
When the languid eye is straining,
Weep not for me :
When the feeble pulse is ceasing,
Start not at its swift decreasing;
>Tis the fettered soul's releasing —
Weep not for me.
When the pangs of death assail me,
Weep not for me ;
Christ is mine — he cannot fail me —
Weep not for me :
THE SABBATH EVENING. 283
Yes, though sin and doubt endeavour
From his love my soul to sever,
Jesus is my strength for ever —
Weep not for me.
There is a calm for those that weep ;
A rest for weary pilgrims found ;
They softly lie, and sweetly sleep,
Low in the ground.
The storm, that wrecks the winter sky,
No more disturbs their deep repose,
Than summer evening's latest sigh
That shuts the rose.
I long to lay this painful head,
And aching heart, beneath the soil ;
To slumber in that dauntless bed
From all my toil.
.... traveler in this vale of tears !
To realms of everlasting light,
Through Time's dark wilderness of years,
Pursue thy flight.
284 THE SABBATH EVENING.
There is a calm for those that weep,
A rest for weary pilgrims found ;
And while the mouldering ashes sleep,
Low in the ground.
The soul, of origin divine,
God's glorious image freed from clay,
In heaven's eternal sphere shall shine
A star of day !
The sun is but a spark of fire,
A transient meteor in the sky ;
The soul, immortal as its Sire,
Shall never die !
When mortals weep a creature dead,
Then angels hail a brother born ;
The body sinks to night's dark bed,
The spirit hails an endless morn.
THE SABBATH EVENING. 285
How sweetly parts the christian sun,
Just like the summer monarch, set
Midst cloudless skies, his journey done,
To rise in brighter regions yet.
O where the Christian ends his days
Lingers a lovely line of rays,
That speaks his calm departure blest,
And promises, to those who gaze,
The same beatitude of rest.
Dear as thou wert, and justly dear,
I will not weep for thee ;
One thought shall check the starting tear,
It is, that thou art free.
And thus shall Faith's consoling power
The tears of Love restrain ;
Oli ! who that saw thy parting hour,
Could wish thee here again ?
Triumphant in thy closing eye
The hope of glory shone,
Joy breathed in thine expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won.
286 THE SABBATH EVENING.
Gently the passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grace divine,
Oh ! may such grace on me be shed,
And make my end like thine.
One army of the living God,
Above, or here below ;—
Part of the host have cross'd the flood,
And part are crossing now.
Even now to their eternal home
Some happy spirits fly ;
And we are to the margin come,
And soon expect to die !
O Jesus ! be our constant guide ;
Then, when the word is given,
Bid Jordan's narrow stream divide,
And land us safe in heaven !
THE SABBATH EVENING. 287
When at the limits of my final stage,
The pilgrim just at home, with nought but Death,
That intercepting Jordan, in my way ;
Instant, its gulfy waves about to pass: —
Ee then my eve all hush'd as summer-calms !
Clear, without vapour, let my sun go down,
A setting brightness ! — till on Canaan's shore
My feet ahall rest; Emmanuel's promised land.
288 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
THE SABBATH NIGHT.
When, marshall'd on the nightly plain,
The glittering host bestud the sky,
One star alone, of all the train,
Can fix the sinner's wand'ring eye.
Hark ! hark ! to God the chorus breaks
From ev'ry host, from ev'ry gem ;
But one alone the Saviour speaks :
It is the Star of Bethlehem.
Once on the raging seas I rode ;
The storm was loud, the night was dark,
The ocean yawn'd — and rudely blow'd
The wind that toss'd my foundering bark.
Deep horror then my vitals froze :
Death-struck, I ceased the tide to stem ;
When suddenly a star arose,
It was the Star of Bethlehem.
It was my guide, my light, my all ;
It bade my dark forebodings cease ;
And, through the storm and danger's thrall,
It led me to the port of peace.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 289
Now safely moor'd, ray perils o'er,
I sing, first in night's diadem,
For ever and for evermore,
The Star ! the Star of Bethlehem !
♦ Tell me, ye shining hosts
That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
If from your elevation, whence ye view
Distinctly scenes invisible to man,
And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race
Favour'd as ours ; transgressors from the womb,
And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise,
And to possess a brighter heaven than yours?
As one who, long detain 'd on foreign shores,
Pants to return ; and, when he sees afar
His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks
From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
Radiant with joy toward the happy land ; —
So I with animated hopes behold,
And many an aching wish,, y^ur beamy fires,
That shew like beacons in the blue abyss,
Ordain'd to guide th' embodied spirit home
290 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
From toilsome life to never-ending rest,
Love kindles as I gaze : I feel desires
That give assurance of their own success,
And that, infused from Heav'n, must thither tend.
The day is over; it is night, dark night I
But such as should succeed a day so fair :
Nought is there in its darkness to affright ;
No gusty winds approaching storms declare.
But peaceful silence fills the dewy air.
Thou art the emblem, type, similitude
Of silence yet more awful ; although we
Regret the approach of Death's dark night to see f
Father of Mercies! thou, whose goodness gave
Thy Son Belov'd, man's sacrifice to be ;
Grant that in life's last hour my soul may crave,
Nor crave in vain, His love to light me through
the grave !
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 291
O may the grave become to me
The bed of peaceful rest,
Whence I shall gladly rise at length,
And mingle with the blest.
When the voice of the Bridegroom shall startle the
As it suddenly breaks on the stillness of night,
The soul of the Christian will rise without fear,
And go forth to receive him with hallowed delight.
If her lamp, while she slumbers, begins to grow dim,
It is still so replenished with oil from above,
That the flame will revive which she hastens to trim,
And will light up her path to the banquet of love.
A fair wedding-robe is already prepared —
Her monarch, the Bridegroom, bestowed it before —
With the virgin companions, who follow the bride,
She ascends to his palace, to leave it no more.
292 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Darkness overspreads us here,
But the night wears fast away ;
Jacob's star will soon appear,
Leading ou eternal day.
Now 'tis time to rouse from sleep,
Trim our lamps, and stand prepared ;
For our Lord strict watch to keep,
Lest he find us off our guard.
As wakeful on my couch I lie, —
While darkness reigns o'er earth and sky,
While Nature sleeps, and not a sound
Disturbs the lonely calm around ; —
Thoughts upon thoughts, a various train,
Traverse the universe in vain.
Yet oh, the solemn hour redeem !
Let me to sleep confine my dream ;
Restored to reason, leave behind
The trifles which profane the mind ;
And swift, o'er all, to thee ascend,
" My God, my Father, and my Friend I"
Grin fi el i .
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 293
When in the darkness, deep and dull,
The shining stars look beautiful ;
When the blue heavens, that we behold,
Are sprinkled o'er with living gold,
And the calm breeze speaks whisperingly —
I'll seek communion, Lord ! with thee.
A glance from heav'n with sweet effect,
Sometimes my pensive spirit cheers ;
But ere I can my thoughts collect,
As suddenly it disappears.
So lightning, in the gloom of night,
Affords a momentary day ;
Disclosing objects full in sight,
Which, soon as seen, are snatchM away.
Ah ! what avail these pleasing scenes !
They do but aggravate my pain j
While darkness quickly intervenes,
And swallows up my joys again.
But shall I murmur at relief?
Though short, it was a precious view,
294 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Sent to control my unbelief,
And prove that what I read is true.
The lightning's flash did not create
The opening prospect it revealed,
But only shewed the real state
Of what the darkness had concealed.
Just so, we by a glimpse discern
The glorious things within the veil,
That, when in darkness, we may learn
To live by faith till light prevail.
The Lord's great day will soon advance,
Dispersing all the shades of night ;
Then we no more shall need a glance,
But see by an eternal light.
How shall I praise thee, Lord of light ?
How all thy generous love declare ?
Though earth is veil'd in shades of night,
Thy heaven is open to my prayer ;
That heaven, so bright with stars and suns —
That glorious heaven, which knows no bound ;
THE SABBATH NIC4HT. '295
Where the full tide of being runs,
And life and beauty glow around ;
From thence, thy seat of light divine,
Circled by thousand streams of bliss,
Which calmly flow and brightly shine—-
Say, to a world so mean as this,
€anst thou direct thy pitying eye ?
How shall my thoughts expression find.
All lost in thine immensity ?
How shall I seek, Eternal Mind,
Thy holy presence ? God sublime,
Whose power and wisdom, love and grace ;
A re greater than the round of time,
And wider than the bounds of space !
Gently the shades of night descend ;
Thy temple, Lord ! is calm and still ;
A thousand lamps of ether blend,
A thousand fires that temple fill,
To honour thee — 'tis bright and fair,
As if the very heavens, imprest
With thy pure image smiling there,
In all their loveliest robes were drest.
Yet thou canst turn thy friendly eye
From that immeasurable throne ;
Thou, smiling on humanity,
Post claim earth's children for thine own*
296 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
And gently, kindly lead them through
Life's various scenes of joy and gloom ;
Till evening's pale and pearly dew
Tips the green sod that decks their tomb.
Thou, Father ! hast a gentle breath
That bears our soaring souls on high ;
Thy angels watch the bed of death,
Thy torch directs us to the sky.
Thou bidst the cares of earth depart —
Heaven's peace is wafted from above ;
A sabbath -stillness fills my heart —
Devotion's calm, and virtue's love.
Thy laws, with rays divine, illume ;
Sweet is thy call, thy burden light ;
Thy words like heavenly music come,
Thy promise like a seraph bright.
And man — a speck of dust — may rise,
Borne on the pinions of thy grace,
Up to angelic mysteries ;
Heaven is his home — his resting place.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 297
Blessed be thy name for ever,
Thou of life the guard and giver:
Thou canst guard thy creatures sleeping,
Heal the heart long broke with weeping.
God of stillness and of motion,
Of the desert and the ocean,
Of the mountain, rock, and river,
Blessed be thy name for ever !
Thou, who slumberest not, nor sleepest.
Blest are they thou kindly keepest :
God of evening's parting ray,
Of midnight gloom, and dawning day
That rises from the azure sea
Like breathings of eternity !
God of life ! that fade shall never,
Blessed be thy name for ever !
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe
My soul in praise to Him who gave my soul,
And all her infinite of prospect fair,
Cut through the shades of hell, great Love ! by thee
O most adorable ! most unador'd !
Where shall that praise begin which ne'er should end*
29$ THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause?
How is Night's sable mantle labour'd o'er,
How richly wrought with attributes divine !
What wisdom shines ! what love ! this midnight pomp,
This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid !
Peace 'neath the stars may fix her seat,
And bliss look smiling from on high,
When spirits hold communion sweet
With brighter spirits of the sky.
The earth is resting calmly now,
Beneath the curtainM shade of night;
The sun, behind the mountain's brow,
Has veil'd his last and lingering light.
Reviving sleep ! thy sheltering wing
Is o'er the couch of labour spread ;
Sweet minister — unearthly thing—
That hovers round the tired one's head.
As calm and cold, as mortal clay
When life is fled — earth soundly sleeps ;
When evening veils the eye of day,
And darkness rules the ocean deeps.
THE SAB6ATH NIGHT. 299
But, lighted 'neath heaven's temple arch,
Ten thousand stars are shining round,
And all on their imposing march
Thy everlasting praise resound.
A thousand thousand joyful tongues
Are heard in heaven when earth is still \
And echoes of unnumbered songs
The vast extent of nature fill.
O then thy Spirit, Lord! anew
Enkindles strength in sleeping men ;
It falls, as falls the evening dew —
And life's sad waste repairs again,
While mildly o'er the deep repose
Peace smiles from her exalted throne,
In sleep a million eyelids close —
Heaven watches, and Heaven wakes alone
Preserving, blessing, guarding all,
The night and day hi! smile inspires ;
He sits beneath his star-roofed hall,
And never slumbers, never tires:
No rest requites his ceaseless toil —
He never faints, he needs not rest :
Man sinks to deep repose awhile;
God reigns untired — immortal—blest i
300 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Then let me, led by Him, pursue
My path, from folly's slavery flee ;
Throw off my chain — and then renew
My journey towards eternity.
Be nature's gentle slumbers mine —
And lead me gently to the last,
Until I hear thy voice divine—
u Awake! for death's long night is past,"
Father Divine ! thy piercing eye
Shoots thro' the darkest night ;
In deep retirement thou art nigh, ,
With heart discerning sight.
There shall that piercing eye survey
My duteous homage paid,
With ev'ry morning's dawning ray,
And ev'ry ev'ning's shade.
O may thy own celestial fire
The incense still inflame:
While my warm vows to thee aspire,
Through my Redeemer's name.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 301
So shall the visits of thy love,
My soul in secret bless ;
So shalt thou deign, in worlds above,
Thy suppliant to confess.
A holy stillness fills the sky,
While evening times its vesper song ;
And, like a sacred lamp, on high
The solitary moon is hung.
Repose, upon her downy pinion,
Lights on the pilgrim's couch serene,
And holds her undisturbed dominion
O'er the dark silence of the scene.
Then the Divinity within
Lights the freed soul, and heaven appears
Like some fair star, the clouds between,
Soft smiling through the night of years.
Then with new life the spirit flies
Up to its primal, high abode ;
Reads all the secrets of the skies,
And holds high converse with its God.
O let me turn to heaven my eye !
Heaven is my portion, is my home*—
302 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
And, steering onward joyfully,
Be welcomed by the harbouring tomtK
Thus, in serenest holiness,
Let days and nights roll sweetly past ;
And if a tear — a tear of peace —
Shall tremble in my eye at last ;
Enough to think that I am thme —
Enough for sorrow's darkest hour—
If I may call thee — claim thee mine —
God of my life ! I ask no more.
When night, with wings of starry gloom,
O'ershadows all the earth and skies,
Like some dark beauteous bird, whose plume
Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes ;
That sacred gloom, those fires divine,
So grand, so countless, Lord ! are thine.
O Night! how beautiful thy golden dress,
On which so many stars like gems are strew 'd j
So mild and modest in thy loveliness,
So bright, so glorious in thy solitude !
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 303
The soul soars upwards on its holy wings,
Thro' the vast ocean paths of light sublime,
Visits a thousand yet unravelled things ;
And, if its memories look to earthly time
And earthly interests, His as in a dream—
For earth and earthly things but shadows seem ;
While heaven is substance, and eternity.
This is thy temple, Lord ! 'tis worthy thee,
And in it thou hast many a lamp suspended,
That dazzles not, but lights resplendently ;
And there thy court is — there thy court, attended
By myriad, myriad messengers — the song
Of countless and melodious harps is heard,
Sweeter than rill, or stream, or vernal bird,
The dark and melancholy woods among.
And golden worlds in that wide temple glow,
And roll in brightness, in their orbits vast,
And there the future mingles with the past,
An unbeginning, an unending now.
Along yon glittering sky what glory streams !
What majesty attends night's lovely queen!
Fair laugh ouv vallies in the vernal beams ;
And mountains rise, and oceans roll between,
And all conspire to beautify the scene..
304 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
But, in the mental world, what chaos drear t
What forms of mournful, loathsome, furi&us mien t
O when shall that eternal morn appear,
These dreadful forms to chase, this chaos dark to
O Thou, at whose creative smile, yon heaven,
In all the pomp of beauty, life, and light,
Rose from the abyss ; when dark confusion, driven
Down, down the bottomless profound of night,
Fled, where he ever flees thy piercing sight!
O glance on these sad shades one pitying ray,
To blast the fury of oppressive might !
Melt the hard heart to love and mercy's sway,
And cheer the wandering soul, and light him on his
O Night ! propitious to my views,
Thy sable awning wide diffuse ;
Conceal alike my joy and pain,
Nor draw thy curtain back again,
Though Morning, by the tears she shows,
Seems to participate my woes.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 305
Ye Stars ! whose faint and feeble fires
Express ray languishing desires,
Whose slender beams pervade the skies
As silent as my secret sighs,
Those emanations of a soul
That darts her fires beyond the Pole ;
Your rays, that scarce assist the sight,
That pierce, but not displace the night,
That shine indeed, but nothing show
Of all those various scenes below,
Bring no disturbance, rather prove
Incentives to a sacred Love.
Thou Moon ! whose never-failing course
Bespeaks a providential force,
Go, tell the tidings of my flame
To Him who calls the stars by name ;
Whose absence kills, whose presence cheers ;
Who blots, or brightens, all my years.
While, in the blue abyss of space,
Thine orb performs its rapid race ;
Still whisper in his listening ears
The language of my sighs and tears ;
Tell him, I seek him, far below,
Lost in a wilderness of woe.
306 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
How calm, amid these scenes, my mind !
How perfect is tlie peace I find !
O hush ! be still my ev'ry part,
My tongue, my pulse, my beating heart !
That Love, aspiring to its cause
May suffer not a moment's pause.
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep :
All these with ceaseless praise His works behold
Both day and night : how often, from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator? oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds
In full harmonic number joined, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 3KW
Amid the hurry, toil, and strife,
The claims, the urgencies, the whirl of life, —
The soul — perhaps in silence of the night —
Has flashes, transient intervals of light ;
When things to come, without a shade of doubt,
In terrible reality stand out.
Those lucid moments suddenly presents
A glance of truth, as though the Heavens were rent ;
And through that charm of pure celestial light,
The future breaks upon the startled sight :
Life's vain pursuits, and Time's advancing pace,
Appear with death -bed clearness, face to face ;
And Immortality's expanse sublime,
In just proportion to the speck of time :
While Death, uprising from the silent shades,
Shows his dark outline ere the vision fades ;
In strong relief against the blazing sky,
Appears the shadow as it passes by.
And though o'erwhelming to the dazzled brain,
These are the moments when the mind is sane.
For then a hope of Heav'n — the Saviour's cross,
Seem what they are, and all things else but loss.
Oh ! to be ready — ready for that day,
Would we not give earth's fairest toys away ? —
Alas ! how soon its interests cloud the view.
Rush in, and plunge us in the world anew !
Once Paul beheld, with more than mortal eye,
The unveil'd glories of the upper sky :
308 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
And when descending from that vision's height,
(His faith and hope thence forward turn'd to sight)
When he awoke and cast his eye anew,
Still aching, dazzled, wondering at the view,
On this dark world, how look'd it? mean and dim ;
And such it is, as then it seemed to him.
As when the eye a moment turns to gaze,
Adventurous, on the sun's meridian blaze,
The shining orb pursues where'er it roves,
And hides in gloom the fields, the hills, the groves :
'Twas thus he saw the things that sense entice,
Fade in the glorious beam of Paradise ;
And felt how far eternal joys outweigh
The light afflictions of our fleeting day.
Well might he then press forward to the prize,
And every weight, and every woe despise !
Oh ! with what pity would his bosom glow
For this poor world, and those who walk below,
When fresh from glory — fraught with Heav'n, he view'd
The busy, eager, earth-bound multitude !
Each groping where his fondest treasure lies ;
One at his farm, one at his merchandise :
— To see the cumber'd Christian faintly strive
To keep his doubtful spark of grace alive,
By formal duties, paid one day in seven,
And brief, reluctant, misty thoughts of Heaven.
How would he weep, expostulate and pray !
For he had seen — but there the verse must stay ;
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 309
Paul could not utter, nor his pencil draw —
Yet, there it is — that glory that he saw :
Now, even now — whatever vain designs
Engross our worldly spirits — there it shines!
Oh ! place it not at times remotest bound,
In doubtful distance, when the trump shall sound;
Since what we hope for, — yes, and what we fear,
Is even near as death, — and death is near !
The quiet chamber where the Christian sleeps,
And where, from year to year, he prays and weeps ;
Whence, in the midnight watch, his thoughts arise
To those bright mansions where his treasure lies, —
How near it is to all, his faith can see!
How short and peaceful may the passage be !
One beating pulse — one feeble struggle o'er,
May open wide the everlasting door.
Yes, for that bliss unspeakable, unseen,
Is ready — and the veil of flesh between
A gentle sigh may rend — and then display
The broad, full splendour of an endless day.
— This bright conviction elevates his mind ;
He presses forward, leaving all behind. —
Thus from his throne the tyrant foe is hurPd,
— This is the faith that overcomes the world,
310 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
In a land of strange delight,
My transported spirit stray M;
I awake where all is night,
Silence, solitude, and shade.
Is the dream of Nature flown ?
Is the universe destroyed,
Man extinct, and I alone
Breathing through the formless void ?
No: — my soul, in God rejoice ;
Through the gloom his light T see,
In the silence hear his voice,
And his hand is over me.
When I slumber in the tomb,
He will guard my resting-place ;
Fearless in the day of doom,
May I stand before his face !
Though sunless, moonless, starless seem
The sufferer's lonely state,
There is a light, whose cheering beam
Its gloom can dissipate:
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 311
It comes with healing on its wings,
And heavenly radiance round it flings.
It rises on the darkened mind,
In lustre brighter far,
Than that to outward orb assign -*d
Of sun, or moon, or star ;
And matchless is its mild control
Over the desolate in soul.
There is a Friend more tender, true,
Than brother e'er can be ;
Who, when all others bid adieu,
Remains — the last to flee ;
Who, be their pathway bright or dim,
Deserts not those who turn to Him.
The heart, by him sustained, though deep
Its anguish, still can bear ;
The soul he condescends to keep,
Shall never know despair :
In nature's weakness, sorrow's night,
God is its strength, its joy, and light.
312 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Thou, who didst put to flight
Primeval silence, when the morning stars
Exulting shouted o'er the rising ball ;
O Thou ! whose word from solid darkness struck
That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my soul ;
My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her treasure,
As misers to their gold, while others rest.
And now the moon
A curtain fold of richest drapery draws
O'er her dim form, that warns to due repose.
But first, ere rested on my bed's kind down,
Him I once more invoke, whose guardian wing
Broods o'er me while I walk, and when I rest.
u God of my days and nights, be gently near
" With thy safe presence still ! and sleep, thy gift,
" Health's dear Physician, send to drop his balm,
" With dreams devoutly pure from dread or sin !"
— I close my eyes, but meditation wakes :
My midnight pillow's silent visitor,
Long with my thoughts used mutely to converse.
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 313
Thus Jacob, curtain 'd by the dark blue sky,
Ten thousand starry lustres burning round,
On harder pillow slept. His soul, awake,
Held converse high with Abraham's, Isaac's God ;
Saw in the scaled heav'ns, angelic hosts ;
Saw more — a Mediator symbol'd there,
His promised seed — his promised Saviour too.
And see, day's amiable sister sends
Her invitation in the softest rays
Of mitigated lustre ; courts thy sight,
Which suffers from her tyrant brother's blaze.
Night grants thee the full freedom of the skies,
Nor rudely reprimands thy lifted eye ;
With gain, and joy, she bribes thee to be wise.
Night opes the noblest scenes, and sheds an awe,
Which gives those venerable scenes full weight,
And deep reception in th* iutender'd heart ;
While light peeps through the darkness, like a spy ;
And darkness shews its grandeur by the light.
Nor is the profit greater than the joy,
If human hearts at glorious objects glow,
And admiration can inspire delight.
314 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Sleep at last has fled these eyes,
Nor do I regret his flight ;
More alert my spirits rise,
And my heart is free and light.
Nature silent all around,
Not a single witness near ;
God, as soon as sought, is found ;
And the flame of love burns clear.
Interruption, all day long,
Checks the current of my joys ;
Creatures press me with a throng,
And perplex me with their noise,
David, for the self-same cause,
Night preferred to busy day :
Hearts, whom heavenly beauty draws,
Wish the glaring sun away.
Ye citadels of light ...» ,
Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul,
Revolving periods past, may oft look back
With recollected tenderness on all
The various busy scenes she left below,
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 315
Its deep laid projects, and its strange events,
As on some fond and doating tale that sooth'd
Her infant hours. — O ! be it lawful now
To tread the hallow 'd circle of your courts,
And, with mute wonder and delighted awe,
Approach your burning confines. SeizM in thought
On fancy's wild and roving wing I sail
From the green borders of the peopled Earth,
And the pale Moon her duteous fair attendant ;
From solitary Mars, from the vast orb
Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk
Dances in aether like the lightest leaf
To the dim verge, the suburbs of the system ;
Where cheerless Saturn, 'mid his wat'ry moons,
Girt with a lucid zone, majestic sits
In gloomy grandeur, like an exiled Queen
Amongst her weeping handmaids : fearless thence
I launch into the trackless deeps of space,
Where burning round ten thousand suns appear
Of elder beam, which ask no leave to shine
Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light
From the proud regent of our scanty day.
Sons of the morning! first born of creation !
And only less than He who marks their track
And guides their fiery wheels. Here must I stop —
Or, is there aught beyond ? What hand unseen
Impels me onward through the glowing orbs
316 THE SABBATH NIGHT,
Of habitable nature far remote,
To the dread confines of eternal night ;
To solitudes of vast unpeopled space,
The deserts of creation wide and wild ;
Where embryo systems and unkind led suns
Sleep in the womb of Chaos ? Fancy droops :
And Thought, astonished, stops her bold career !
But, O ! thou mighty Mind! whose powerful word
Said — Thus let all things be, and thus they were !
Where shall I seek thy presence ? how unblam'd
Invoke thy dread perfection ?
Have the broad eyelids of the morn beheld thee ?
Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion
Support thy throne? O look with pity down
On erring guilty man ! — not in thy names
Of terror clad — not with those thunders arm ? d
That conscious Sinai felt when fear appaPd
The scatterM tribes ! Thou hast a gentler voice
That whispers comfort to the swelling heart,
Abash J d, yet longing to behold her Maker !
But now my soul, unus'd to stretch her pow'rs
In flights so daring, drops her weary wing,
And seeks again the known accustom'd spot,
Drest up with sun and shade, and lawns and streams,
A mansion fair, and spacious for its guest,
And full replete with wonders ! Let me here
Content and grateful wait the appointed time,
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 317
And ripen for the skies; — the hour will come
When all these splendours, bursting on my sight,
Shall stand unveil'd, and to my ravish'd sense
Unlock the glories of the World unknown J
And was the ransom paid? It was ; and paid
(What can exalt the bounty more ?) for you.
The sun beheld it — no, the shocking scene
Drove back his chariot : Midnight veiPd his face ;
Not such as this, not such as Nature makes ;
A midnight Nature shudder'd to behold ;
A midnight new : a dread eclipse (without
Opposing spheres) from her Creator's frown !
Sun, didst thou fly thy Maker's pain? or start
At that enormous load of human guilt
Which bowed his blessed head, o'erwbelm'd his
Made groan the centre, burst earth's marble womb
With pangs, strange pangs, delivered of her dead ?
Hell howl'd ; and Heaven that hour let fall a tear :
Heav'n wept, that men might smile ! Heav'n bled,
Might never die! —
And is devotion virtue ? 'Tis compell'd.
318 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
What heart of stone but glows at thoughts like these :
Such contemplations mount us, and should mount
The mind still higher, nor ever glance on man
Unraptur'd, uninflamM. Where roll my thoughts
To rest from wonders! other wonders rise
And strike where'er they roll : my soul is caught :
Heav'n's sovereign blessings clustering from the
Rush on her in a throng, and close her round
The pris'ner of amaze ! — In his blest life
I see the path, and in his death the price,
And in his great ascent the proof supreme
Of immortality. —
Hasten, O Lord ! that happy time
When, through thy Spirit's light,
Our souls shall offer songs sublime
To thee in hours of night ;
And own that " few and evil days "
Are far too brief to chant thy praise.
Hasten the hour, when songs shall rise
From hearts that long have slept,
As when with holy sacrifice
Solemnity is kept \
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 319
And gladness of the heart is known
Before thine omnipresent throne.
As when, with pipe's melodious sound,
One goeth to thy hill,
To spread thy glorious praise around,
And magnify thy will,
Telling what gracious deeds are done
By ancient Israel's Mighty One.
Not songless would night watches be
If, through the hours of day,
Our hearts, O Lord ! were turn'd to thee,
Their surest, holiest stay ;
With earnest cravings to be fed
By thee with daily, living bread.
But we, a fall'n and sinful race,
In quest of shadows roam,
Overlook the treasures of thy grace,
Forget our future home ;
And day's delights, its cares, and noise,
Leave night no zest for holy joys,
O hasten, then, that happier hour,
When bright within shall shine
320 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Thy Holy Spirit's teaching power,
With ministry divine,
Whose sacred breathings strength can give,
And bid the soul obey and live !
When, through thy Son's great sacrifice,
Our souls shall pardon find,
And feel and own how vast the price
He paid for lost mankind —
A thought, a feeling, that should raise
Unceasing gratitude and praise i —
Then shall a song, as in the night,
Be given to man to sing,
And earth's brief darkness shall seem bright
Through Heaven's Eternal King :
Day unto day shall utter speech ;
Night unto night shall knowledge teach.
By day the soul, o'erbome by life's career,
Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare,
Reels far from reason, jostled by the throng.
By day the soul is passive, all her thoughts
Imposed, precarious, broken, ere mature.
By night, from objects free, from passion cool,
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 321
Thoughts uncontroPd and unimpress'd, the births
Of pure election, arbitrary range,
Not to the limits of one world confin'd,
But from ethereal travels light on earth
As voyagers drop anchor for repose.
Dark river op Death! that art flowing
Between the bright city and me,
Thou boundest the path I am going ;
O how shall I pass over thee !
When the cold stormy waters rise o'er me,
And earth disappears from my sight, —
When a cloud rises thickly before me,
And veils all my spirit in night, —
When the hands I love fondly are wringing,
The eyes all for me wet with tears,
The hearts that surround me still clinging,
And I all misgivings and fears :
Ere the warmth of that love be departed
That binds us so closely below,
Could I bear to see them broken-hearted,
Nor feel all the sting of their woe?
322 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
O Death 1 thou last portion of sorrow,
The prospect of heaven is bright ;
And fair is the dawn of its morrow,
But stormy and dreadful thy night !
O Thou ! who hast broken the power
Of this the last victor of men,
Be with me in that solemn hour,
And grant me deliverance then !
The glory from Calvary streaming,
May shine o'er the cold sable wave;
And the faith that is oftentimes beaming
May burst through the gloom of the grave.
And peace may shine cloudless above me,
When I think what my Saviour has said,
H The Father himself deigns to love thee,"
And Jesus has died in my stead !
With the prospect of meeting for ever, —
With the bright gates of heaven in view,
From the dearest on earth I could sever,
And smile a delightful adieu !
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 323
O majestic night !
Nature's great ancestor ! Day's elder-born I
And fated to survey the transient sun !
By mortals and immortals seen with awe !
A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,
An azure zone, thy waist ; clouds, in heav'n's loom
Wrought through varieties of shape and shade,
In ample folds of drapery divine,
Thy flowing mantle form ; and heftv'n throughout,
Voluminously pour thy pompous train.
The soul of man, His face design 'd to see,
Who gave these wonders to be seen by man,
Has here a previous scene of objects great,
On which to dwell ; to stretch to that expanse
Of thought, to rise to that exalted height
Of admiration, to contract that awe,
And give her whole capacities that strength
Which best may qualify for final joy>
The more our spirits are enlarged on earth,
The deeper draught shall they receive of heav'n.
What though my frail eyelids refuse
Continual watchings to keep,
And, punctual as midnight renews,
Demand the refreshment of sleep j
324 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
A sovereign Protector I have,
Unseen, yet for ever at hand,
Unchangeably faithful to save,
Almighty to rule and command.
From evil secure, and its dread,
I rest, if my Saviour is nigh,
And songs his kind presence indeed
Shall through the night season supply:
He smiles, and my comforts abound ;
His grace as the dew shall descend ;
And walls of salvation surround
The soul he delights to defend.
Kind Author and Ground of my hope,
Thee, thee, for my God I avow;
My glad Ebenezer set up,
And own thou hast help'd me till now :
I muse on the years that are past,
Wherein my defence thou hast provM,
Nor wilt thou abandon at last
A sinner so signally lov'd.
Inspirer and Hearer of prayer,
Thou Feeder and Guardian of thine,
My all to thy covenant care
I sleeping and waking resign j
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 325
If thou art my Shield and my Sun,
The night is no darkness to me ;
And fast as my moments roll on,
They bring me but nearer to thee.
Thy ministering spirits descend
To watch while thy saints are asleep,
By day and by night they attend,
The heirs of salvation to keep ;
Bright seraphs, despatched from the throne,
Repair to the stations assigned,
And angels elect are sent down
To guard the elect of mankind.
Thy worship no interval knows,
Their fervour is still on the wing ;
And while they protect my repose,
They chant to the praise of my King :
I too, at the season ordain M,
Their chorus for ever shall join,
And love, and adore, without end,
Their faithful Creator, and mine.
326 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Know'st thou the value of a soul immortal ?
Behold this midnight glory : worlds on worlds !
Amazing pomp ! Redouble this amaze!
Ten thousand add ; add twice ten thousand more ;
Then weigh the whole ; one soul outweighs them all ;
And calls th' astonishing magnificence
Of unintelligent creation poor.
Turn up thine eye, survey this midnight scene ;
What are earth's kingdoms, to yon boundless orbs,
Of human souls, one day, the destin'd range ?
And what yon boundless orbs, to godlike man ?
Those num'rous worlds that throng the firmament,
And ask more space in heaven, can roll at large
In man's capacious thought, and still leave room
For ampler orbs, for new creations, there.
Can such a soul contract itself to gripe
A point of no dimension, of no weight ?
It can ; it does— the world is such a point :
And, of that point, how small a part enslaves !
Season of my purest pleasure,
Sealer of observing eyes I
When, in larger, freer measure,
I can commune with the skies :
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 327
While, beneath thy shade extended,
Weary man forgets his woes ;
I, my daily trouble ended,
Find, in watching, my repose,
Silence all around prevailing,
Nature hushM in slumber sweet,
No rude noise mine ears assailing,
Now my God and I can meet :
Universal nature slumbers,
And my soul partakes the calm,
Breathes her ardour out in numbers,
Plaintive song or lofty psalm.
No rainbow colours here, or silken tale j
But solemn counsels, images of awe,
Truths which Eternity lets fall on man
With double weight through these revolving spheres,
This death-deep silence, and incumbent shade ;
Thoughts such as shall revisit your last hour,
Visit uncalPd, and live when life expires.
328 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
Night! how I love thy silent shades,
My spirits they compose ;
The bliss of heav'n my soul pervades,
In spite of all my woes.
While sleep instils her poppy dews
In ev'ry slumb'ring eye,
I watch, to meditate and muse
In blest tranquillity.
Thou, whom I serve, and whose I am,
Whose influence from on high
Refines, and still refines my flame,
And makes my fetters fly.
How wretched is the creature's state,
Who thwarts thy gracious pow'r ;
Crush'd under sin's enormous weight,
Increasing ev'ry hour !
The night, when passM entire with thee,
How luminous and clear !
Then sleep has no delights for me,
Lest Thou should'st disappear.
My Saviour ! occupy me still
In this secure recess ;
THE SABBATH NIGHT, 329
Let Reason slumber if she will,
My joy shall not be less :
Let Reason slumber out the night ;
But if Thou deign to make
My scul th* abode of truth and light,
Ah, keep my heart awake !
These tutelary shades
Are man's asylum from the tainted throng.
; Tis solemn gloom, toilM nature's grateful hour
Of universal solace ; hush'd and still.
The little warbler of the cheerful day,
The charmer lark, has sung herself to rest.
Each feathery labourer has his vesper closM,
PerchM on his bough. But wakes in conscious man,
Wakes still the deep solicitude of thought !
And now more deep, while mounted on her sphere,
Prime near attendant on her solar lord,
The Star of Eve lights up her diamond flames.
330 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
And the pale milder regent of the night,
Replenish'd from her brother's lucid urn,
In her fill'd orb, new risen, completely throned,
Pours through wide fields of sky her urgent stream.
Queen of the shades, amid her lesser train
Of fixed and planetary lustres, joined
In lumination mutual, slow she moves
Through her thronged court; and heaven's vast
With an infinitude of living fires.
At the grand pomp of wonders, in what heart
Glows not devotion too? — " My Sire, my God !
" All-glorious King ! of thy dread greatness, much,
" Much have I heard, by the awe-shuddered ear.
" But in this mirror, my o'er dazzled eye
u Of sense surveys thee ; more tremendous far !
" In dust, my mother, humbler, humbler— oh !
"In penitential ashes, let me view
" Myself abhorr'd ; myself ! more black, more vile !"
Now hear my prayer,
And be thy staff my guide, my steps thy care ;
Thy call I follow, summon where it may ;
Thy hand shall guide — where'er it points the way ;
Thy light illumine, and thy Spirit cheer ;
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 331
Thy influence ever active, ever near,
Shall gild the smiling hour with brighter ray,
And give to darkness some sweet gleams of day ;
Shall lead us gently through our pilgrimage,
And drop us safely in the lap of age ;
And watch our bed of slumber ; — and awake
From the grave's dreams, when that great morn shall
Upon the realms of death — and waft us on,
Borne on Faith's pinions to the Eternal's throne.
One Sun by day, by night ten thousand shine,
And light us deep into the Deity ;
How boundless in magnificence and might !
O what a confluence of ethereal fires,
From urns unnumberM, down the steep of heav'n,
Streams to a point, and centres in my sight !
Nor tarries there ; I feel it at my heart.
My heart, at once, it humbles and exalts ;
Lays it in dust, and calls it to the skies.
Who sees it unexalted, or unaw'd ?
Who sees it, and can stop at what is seen ?
Material offspring of Omnipotence !
Inanimate, all-animating birth !
Work worthy him who made it ! worthy praise !
332 THE SABBATH NIGHT.
All praise ! praise more than human ! nor deny'd
Thy praise divine ! But tho' man, drown'd in sleep,
Withholds his homage, not alone I wake ;
Bright legions swarm' unseen, and sing, unheard
. By mortal ear, the glorious Architect
In this his universal temple hung
With lustres, with innumerable lights,
That shed religion on the soul ; at once,
The temple and the preacher ! O how loud
It calls devotion ! genuine growth of night !
There is a Spirit o'er creation spread,
Though darkness draws its curtains round our head,
And sorrow's streams flow at our mortal feet, —
There is a Spirit, sanctified and sweet,
That breathes of other scenes and holier things,
Broods o'er the earth with healing on its wings,
And is a gracious messenger from heaven :
There is a Spirit to our spirits given,
Which holds communion with our nobler part,
That sheds a hallowed influence on our heart ;
Gives pinions to our thoughts, and to our prayers,
And harmonizes all our doubts and cares
To meek submission — an Intelligence
That gladdens with its living influence
THE SABBATH NIGHT. 333
All space, all time — and trains our earthly eye
To bear the blaze of immortality.
I see, T see the glorious goal,
The river for my thirsting soul ;
And I hear the voice which calls for me
O'er the billows of Eternity.
Without my God, how dark meridian light!
Thy presence felt, how bright the darkest night !
Saviour, the day, through all its hours, was thine :
Now, through this midnight gloom, benignly shine.
Beam on my op'ning heart thy conscious love :
Let all my waking thoughts find rest above.
This was thine hour of interceding prayer,
On the lone mountain, in the dew-steepM air.
And didst thou, Saviour, then remember me?
O come, and make my heart overflow to thee!
Thus, at the close of life's eventful day,
This mortal on its bed of dust I'll lay :
While this immortal shall thy praise declare
Day without night, for no more night is there !
334 THE SABBATH SIGHT.
So rolls the varying day — and morn and noon
And eventide and night — alike proclaim
The ne'er decaying splendour of his name ;
His love, that's never wearied, shed on man ;
The never-bounded influence of his might ;
The never-erring wisdom of his plan.
In God, all, all is glory — knowledge — light —
Truth — beauty — joy : and both in what we see
And what we see not — both in what we know
And what we know not — kindness, mercy glow
In the refulgence of Infinity.
My lot is in thy hand— the night, the day,
The moon's pale glimmering, as the sunny ray,
Are thine— and thine the midnight of the grave :—
O be thou there to strengthen and to save ;
To light death's valley with thy beam of love,
And smile a welcome to thy throne above !
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 335
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Muse ! take the harp of prophecy : behold !
The glories of a brighter age unfold !
Father of Mercies ! speed the promised hour ;
Thy kingdom come with all-restoring power ;
Peace, virtue, knowledge, spread from pole to pole,
As round the world the ocean waters roll !
Hope waits the morning of celestial light ;
Time plumes his wings for everlasting flight;
Unchanging seasons have their march begun ;
Millennial years are hastening to the Sun,
Seen through thick clouds, by Faith's transpiercing
The New Creation shines in purer skies.
— All hail ! the age of crime and suffering ends,
The reign of righteousness from heaven descends ;
Vengeance for ever sheaths the afflicting sword ;
Death is destroyed, and Paradise restored :
Man, Tising from the ruins of his fall,
Is one with God, and God is All in All.
336 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem, rise !*
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thine eyes!
See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn !
See future sons and daughters, yet unborn,
Tn crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light and in thy temple bend!
See thy. bright altars thronged with prostrate kings,
And heaped with products of Sabaean springs !
For thee, Idume's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.
See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day.
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn,
Nor Evening-Cynthia fill her silver horn ;
But lost, dissolved, in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,
O'erflow thy courts : the Light himself shall shine
ReveaPd, and God's eternal day be thine.
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away ;
But fixed his word, his saving power remains :
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns !
* See Isaiah, chapters xi. li. liv. Ix. Ixv.
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 337
Yes, Salem ! thou shalt rise : thy Father's aid
Shall heal the wound his chastening hand has made ;
Shall judge the proud oppressor's ruthless sway,
And burst his brazen bonds, and cast his cords away.
Then on your tops shall deathless verdure spring.
Break forth ye mountains, and ye valleys sing !
No more your thirsty rocks shall frown forlorn,
The unbelievers jest, the heathen's scorn ;
The sultry sands shall tenfold harvests yield,
And a new Eden deck the thorny field.
E'en now, perhaps, wide waving o'er the land,
The mighty Angel lifts his golden wand ;
Courts the bright vision of descending power,
Tells every gate, and measures every tower ;
And chides the tardy seals that yet detain
Thy Lion, Judah, from his destined reign.
And who is He, the vast, the awful form,
Girt with the whirlwind, sandaPd with the storm ?
A western cloud around his limbs is spread,
His crown a rainbow, and a sun his head.
To highest heaven he lifts his kingly hand,
And treads at once the ocean and the land ;
And hark ! his voice amid the thunders roar,
His dreadful voice — that time shall be no more !
Lo ! cherub-hands the golden courts prepare,
Lo! thrones are set, and every saint is there;
338 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Earth's utmost bounds confess their awful sway:
The mountains worship, and the isles obey ;
Nor sun nor moon they need — nor day nor night:
God is their temple, and the Lamb their light.
And shall not Israel's sons exulting come,
Hail the glad beam, and claim their ancient home?
On David's throne shall David's offspring reign,
And the dry bones be warm with life again.
Hark! white-robed crowds their deep hosannas raise,
And the hoarse flood repeats the sound of praise j
Ten thousand harps attune the mystic song,
Ten thousand thousand saints the strain prolong. —
" Worthy the Lamb ! omnipotent to save,
" Who died, who lives, triumphant o'er the grave !"
The groans of Nature in this nether world,
Which Heaven has heard for ages, have an end.
Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,
Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp,
The time of rest, the promised Sabbath comes.
Six thousand years of sorrow have well nigh
Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course
Over a sinful world ; and what remains
Of this tempestuous state of things
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 339
Is merely as the working of a sea
Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest:
For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds
The dust that waits upon his sultry march,
When sin hath moved him, and his wrath is hot,
Shall visit earth in mercy, shall descend
Propitious in his chariot paved with love,
And what his storms have blasted and defaced,
For man's revolt, shall with a smile repair.
Sweet is the harp of prophecy ! too sweet
Not to be wrong'd by a mere mortal touch.
Nor can the wonders it records be sung
To meaner music, and not suffer loss.
But when a poet, or when one like me,
Happy to rove among poetic flowers,
Though poor in skill to rear them, lights at last
On some fair theme, some theme divinely fair,
Such is the impulse and the spur he feels
To give it praise proportioned to its worlh,
That not V attempt it, arduous as he deems
The labour, were a task more arduous still.
Oh ! scenes surpassing fable, and yet true !
Scenes of accomplished bliss ! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy ?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty ; the reproach
340 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance ; and the land, once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thirsty curse repeaPd.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring,
The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet — all are full.
The lion, and the libbard, and the bear,
Graze with the fearless flocks : all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Antipathies are none. No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent now : the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
StretchM forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One God, one Father. Error has no place :
That creeping pestilence is driven away ;
The breath of Heaven has chased it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant string,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not : the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations ; and all cry,
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 341
u Worthy the Lamb, for lie was slain for us!"
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks
Shout to each other; and (he mountain-tops
From distant mountains catch the flying joy ;
Till, nation after nation taught the strain,
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round.
Behold the measure of the promise filiM :
See Salem built, the labour of a God !
Bright as a sun the sacred city shines ;
AIL kingdoms and all princes of the earth
Flock to that light ; the glory of all lands
Flows into her; unbounded is her joy,
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
Nabaiotb, and the flocks of Kedar there :
The looms of Ormus, and the mines of Ind,
And Saba's spicy groves, pay tribute there.
Praise is in all her gates : upon her walls,
And in her streets, and in her spacious courts
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there
Kneels with the native of the farthest West ;
And ^Ethiopia spreads abroad the hand,
And worships. Her report has traveled forth.
Into all lands. From every clime they come
To see thy beauty, and to share thy joy,
O Sion! — an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as Heaven stoops down to see.
342 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Thus heavenward all things tend. For all were
Perfect, and all must be at length restored.
So God has greatly purposed ; who would else
In his dishonour M works himself endure
Dishonour, and be wronged without redress.
Haste, then, and wheel away a shattered world,
Ye slow revolving seasons ! We would see
(A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet)
A world that does not dread and hate his laws,
And suffer for its crime —would learn how fair
The creature is that God pronounces good,
How pleasant in itself what pleases him.
Here every drop of honey hides a sting;
Worms wind themselves into our sweetest flowers
And e'en the joy that haply some poor heart
Derives from Heaven, pure as the fountain is,
Is sullied in the stream, taking a taint
From touch of human lips, at best impure.
Oh ! for a world in principle as chaste
As this is gross and selfish 1 over which
Custom and Prejudice shall bear no sway,
That govern all things here, shouldering aside
The meek and modest Truth, and forcing her
To seek a refuge from the tongue of Strife
In nooks obscure, far from the ways of men ;
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 343
Where Violence shall never lift the sword,
Nor cunning justify the proud man's wrong,
Leaving the poor no remedy but tears ;
Where he that fills an office, shall esteem
Th> occasion it presents of doing good
More than the perquisite ; where Law shall speak
Seldom, and never but as Wisdom prompts,
And Equity; not jealous more to guard
A worthless form, than to decide aright ;
Where Fashion shall not sanctify abuse,
Nor smooth Good-Breeding (supplemental grace)
With lean performance ape the work of Love !
Come, then, and added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy ! It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth ;
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since,
And overpaid its value with thy blood.
Thy Saints proclaim thee King : and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
DippM in the fountain of eternal love.
Thy Saints proclaim thee King; and thy delay
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see
The dawn of thy last advent, long-desired,
Would creep into the bowels of the hills,
And flee for safety to the falling rocks.
The very spirit of the world is tired
344 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Of its own taunting question, ask'd so long —
" Where is the promise of your Lord's approach f
The Infidel has shot his bolts away.
Till, his exhausted quiver yielding none,
He gleans the blunted shafts that have recoil'd,
And aims them at the shield of Truth again.
The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,
That hides Divinity from mortal eyes ;
And all the mysteries to Faith proposed,
Insulted and traduced, are cast aside,
As useless, to the moles and to the bats.
They now are deem'd the faithful, and are praised,
Who, constant only in rejecting thee,
Deny thy Godhead with a martyr's zeal,
And quit their office for their error's sake,
Blind, and in love with darkness ! — yet e'en these
Worthy, compared with sycophants, who kneel
Thy name adoring, and then preach thee man !
So fares thy church. But how thy church may fare,
The world takes little thought. Who will may preach,
And what they will. All pastors are alike
To wandering sheep, resolved to follow none.
Two gods divide them all — Pleasure and Pain :
For these they live, they sacrifice to these,
And, in their service, wage perpetual war
With conscience and with thee. Lust in their hearts,
And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth
THE MILLENNIAL SAHBATH, 345
To prey upon each other: stubborn, fierce,
High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace.
Thy prophets speak of such ; and, noting down
The features of the last degenerate times,
Exhibit every lineament of these.
Come, then, and added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one as radiant as the rest,
Due to thy last and most effectual work,
Thy word fulfilled, the conquest of a world !
It seems, as if the summer sky
Assumed a purer blue ;
It seems, as if the floweret's dye
Put on a brighter hue ;
It seems, as if rough ocean's wave
Could now the bark but gently lave ;
A loveliness so soft, so fair,
Pervades the earth, the sea, the air ;
Peace dwells below, and all above
Bespeaks the heavenly reign of Love.
Emmanuel! — thy sceptre bends
O'er every land beneath the sun ;
346 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Where'er the track of man extends,
Have thy sweet victories been won !
Thy Cross has shone the cresset light
To wandering men, in storms of night,
And showM them, anxious and distrest,
The haven of eternal rest.
Commerce ! not now, as once of old,
Art thou the tool of Vice for gold.
The tears of Woe, and blood of Slaves,
Not now, as once, pollute the waves :
Food for soft Vice, and Pleasure's store,
Lade the polluted boards no more ;
But every good that Nature yields,
Rich fruits from gardens, food from fields,
The treasures, suns and showers dispense
Through all pervading Providence ;
Fruits of the mind, and many a store
Of human, and of sacred lore ;
The Arts and Sciences combine,
Saviour ! to make the empire thine.
Painting portrays some lovely thought;
The airy group hath Sculpture wrought ;
Song, bids to him her lays aspire,
And Music gives them warmer fire ;
Fancy and Reason, Strength and Art,
Each bears her own, her several part.
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 347
The curse of W^r is past and o'er,
The blade shall bathe in blood no more |
Within the cot, withiu the tower,
Wherever we may roam ;
In city, field, or summer bower,
How sweet is every home !
Love and Religion mingling there,
Make all alike around it fair.
Sweet is the beaming smile of light.
That Love darts through the eye;
Her glance may well make warm and bright
The sternest wanter sky.
Love bids perpetual summer shine,
And bids perpetual roses twine,
Though storms be howling by :
But when to Love, so warm, is given
To look past Earth's short bound to Heaven,
To see its sweets rebloom anew
In fields more green, and skies more blue ;
Love, burning with Religion's flame,
Each hope, each fear, each joy the same ;
Souls, both as one, commingled there,
The same bright hope, the same sweet prayer,
The cross, their common bond — the seal,
That faith, which each profess and feel :
348 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Oh ! this is Love, surpassing far,
What all mere earthly passions are ;
More pure, more lovely, and more warm
Than lit by fairest earthly form.
Such is the Love that shines around,
In palace, hall, or cot ;
The looks that beam, the words that sound,
The joy that decks the spot.
The hymn floats softly through the vale,
The scent of flowers is in the gale,
Combining joy and summer sun,
Perfume and music, all in one.
The infant group are now at play,
Bright as that sun and summer's day,
While the fond mother smiles to see
The ring dance round so merrily.
Beam on ! beam on ! ye sacred hours,.
With joyance ever new ;
No storm descends, no tempest lowers,
No sorrow saddens you :
The sun that makes your happy day,
Bids e'en the inmost soul be gay.
If Heav'n has ever shone below,
Its dawning now appears ;
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 349
We seem to catch the morning glow,
From those celestial spheres :
We seem to catch a blush of light
From the golden walls, and portals bright ;
A sweet reflection from the ray,
Which no sun beams,
Nor fair moon gleams,
But God himself sheds all the day.
This is the time so long foreseen,
When ages rolled their years between ;
Thy reign, Oh Prince of Peace !
Envy, and Strife, and Wrath have fled,
The Powers of Sin seem bound and dead,
And Pain and- Sorrow cease !
This was the empire thou didst buy,
When on the cross, ascending high,
Death yielded Thee the victory !
Oh may it be an endless reign,
Nor earth know other rule again !
Who would not be a Christian ! Who but now
Would share the Christian's triumph and his hope !
His triumph is begun. -Tis his to hail,
Amid the chaos of a world convulsed,
350 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
A new creation rising. MVlid the gloom,
Which wraps the low concerns of states and kings,
He marks the morning star ; sees the far East
Blush with the purple dawn ; he hears a trump,
Louder than all the clarions and the clang
Of horrid war, swelling, and swelling still,
In lengthening notes, its all-awakening call—
The trump of jubilee. Are there not signs,
Thunders, and voices, in the troubled air?
Do ye not see, upon the mountain tops,
Beacon to beacon answering? Who can tell
But all the harsh and dissonant sounds, which long
Have been — are still — disquieting the earth,
Are but the tuning of the varying parts
For the grand chorus, which shall usher in
The hastening triumph of the Prince of Peace !
Yes ; his shall be the kingdoms. He shall come,
Ye scoffers at his tarrying. Hear ye not,
E ? en now, the thunder of his wheels? Awake,
Thou slumbering world ! Ev°n now the symphonies
Of that blest song are floating through the air —
Peace, peace on earth, and glory be to God !
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 351
As o'er the budding landscape roves the eye,
Expectant of the burst of nature nigh ;
And, half impatient of the tardy spring,
Would summer's glow o'er all the prospect fling:
So, from the present to the future scene,
Chiding the lingering years that lie between,
Darts rapidly the faith-illumin'd eye,
And Hope beholds prophetic aeras nigh.
Ah ! who shall see these budding glories burst- —
That second Paradise surpass the first ?
Ah ! who shall tread that renovated earth —
Of guiltless ages hail the welcome birth ?
Who hear the trump proclaim from sea to sea —
Messiah's reign! — Creation's jubilee?
'Tis not for thee, my soul, the times to know,
Or scan the seasons as they darkly flow.
Enough, that all is in thy Saviour's hand ;
Thine the sure promise — thine the clear command.
If not to thee Millennial rest be given,
Thine is the better hope of rest in Heaven !
A voice from the desert comes awful and shrill,
" The Lord is advancing — prepare ye the way ;
" The word of Jehovah he comes to fulfil,
" And o'er the dark world pour the splendour of
352 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
" Bring down the proud mountain, tho* towering to
u And be the low valley exalted on high;
u The rough path and crooked be made smooth and
" For Sion ! your King, your Redeemer is nigh.
" The beams of salvation his progress illume,
" The lone dreary wilderness sings of her God !
" The rose and the myrtle shall suddenly bloom,
" And the olive of peace spread its branches
Sing to the Lord ! no more the angels fly
Far in the bosom of the stainless sky
The sound of fierce licentious sacrifice.
From shrined alcove, and stately pedestal,
The marble gods in cumbrous ruin fall,
Headless in dust the awe of nations lies ;
Jove's thunder crumbles in his mouldering hand,
And mute as sepulchres the hymnless temples stand.
Sing to the Lord ! from damp prophetic cave
No more the loose-hairM Sybils burst and rave ;
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 353
Nor watch the augurs pale the wand'ring bird :
No more on hill or in the murky wood,
Mid frantic shout and dissonant music rude,
In human tones are wailing victims heard ;
Nor fathers, by the reeking altar stone, .
Cowl their dark heads t' escape their children's dying
Sing to the Lord ! no more the dead are laid
In cold despair beneath the cypress shade,
To sleep the eternal sleep that knows no morn :
There, eager still to burst death's brazen bands,
The Angel of the Resurrection stands ;
While, on its own immortal pinions borne,
Following the Breaker of the imprisoning tomb,
Forth springs the exulting soul, and flings away its
Sing to the Lord ! the desert rocks break out,
And the thronged cities, in one gladdening shout ;
The farthest shores by pilgrim step explored ;
Spread all your wings, ye winds, and waft around,
Even to the starry cope's pale waning bound,
Earth's universal homage to the Lord ;
Lift up thine head, imperial Capitol,
Proud on thy height to see the banner'd cross unroll.
354 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Sing to the Lord ! when Time itself shall cease,
And final ruin's desolating peace
Enwrap this wide and restless world of man ;
When the Judge rides upon the enthroning wind,
And o'er all generations of mankind
Eternal vengeance waves its winnowing fan ;
To vast Infinity's remotest, space,
While ages run their everlasting race,
Shall all the beatific hosts prolong,
Wide as the glory of the Lamb, the Lamb's triumphant
When my sad heart surveys the pain
Which weary pilgrims here sustain,
As o'er the waste of life they roam ;
Oppressed without, betrayed within,
Victims of violence and sin,
Shall I not cry, " Thy kingdom come!"
And when I know whose strong control
Can calm and cheer each troubled soul,
And lead these weary wanderers home;
Can lodge them in a Father's breast,
And sooth this weary world to rest,
Shall I not cry, " Thy kingdom come !'
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 355
O rise, the kingdom of the Lord!
Come to thy realms, immortal Word !
Melt and subdue these hearts of stone.
Erect the throne which cannot move ;
Stretch forth the sceptre of thy love.
And make this rebel heart thine own.
Then it burst, the glorious view,
In the Spirit as I lay ;
Heavens and earth created new,
For the first were pass'd away :
Sea was none, with billowy roar
Severing shore from kindred shore ;
But, refulgent as a bride,
For her husband beautified.
Forth from Heaven and God descending,
Lo ! the Holy City came,
Glories past expression blending,
New Jerusalem her name!
Hark ! a voice from heaven — " Our God
" Plants with men his blest abode ;
" They his hallowed people ; he,
" He, their present God shall be !
356 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
u God's own hand from all their eves,
" Wipes for ever every tear :
" Death is dead— no more to rise ;
(i Pain and sorrow disappear."
Hark ! he speaks — the First, the Last :
" See the old creation past !
" A new universe begun !
u Write the changeless truth — 'Tis done ! M
Be hush'd the prostrate world !
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh ; ye hills, ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound : the broad responsive low,
Ye vallies, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns ;
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ah! reign, wherever man is found,
My Lord, beloved and divine !
Then I am rich, and I abound,
When ev'ry human heart is thine.
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 357
A thousand sorrows pierce my soul,
To think that all are not thine own :
Ah ! be ador'd from pole to pole ;
Where is thy zeal? arise; be known!
All hearts are cold, in ev'ry place,
Yet earthly good with warmth pursue;
Dissolve them with a flash of grace,
Thaw these of ice, and give us new !
Hark ! through the desert wilds what awful voice
Swells on the gale, and bids the world rejoice?
What prophet form, in holy raptures led,
The grey mists hovering o'er his sacred head,
Prepares on earth Messiah's destinM way,
And bastes the mighty messenger of day?
Lo ! echoing skies resound his gladsome strain,
" Messiah comes ! — ye rugged paths, be plain !
81 The Shiloh comes !*— ye towering cedars, bend ;
" Swell forth, ye vallies : and ye rocks, descend :
u The withered branch let balmy fruits adorn,
" And clustering roses twine the leafless thorn ;
" Burst forth, ye vocal groves, your joy to tell —
" The God of peace redeems his Israel \"
358 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
How beauteous are the feet of those who bear
Mercy to man — glad tidings to despair !
Far from the mountain's top they lovelier seem
Than moonlight dews, or morning's rosy beam ;
Sweeter the voice than spell or hymning sphere,
And listening angels hush their harps to hear.
" Let there be light!" — thus spake the Word;
The Word was God ! — " and there was light. ;
—Still the creative voice is heard.
A day is born from every night,
And every night shail turn to day.
While months, and years, and ages roll ; —
But we have seen a brighter ray
Dawn on the chaos of the soul.
Nor we alone : — its wakening smiles
Have broke the gloom of Nature's sleep ;
The Word hath reach'd the utmost isles,
The Spirit moves on yonder deep.
Already from the dust of death,
Man in his Maker's image stands,
Already draws immortal breath,
And stretches forth to heav'n his hands,
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 359
From day to day before our eyes
Grows and extends the work begun ;
When shall the new creation rise
O'er every land beneath the sun?
When in the Sabbath of his love
Shall God from all his labours rest ;
And, bending from the throne above,
Again pronounce his creatures blest?
As sang the morning stars of old,
Shouted the Sons of God for joy ;
His widening reign while we behold,
Let praise and prayer oisr tong.ies employ ;
Till the redeemed in every clime,
Yea, all that breathe and move and live,
To Christ, through every age of time,
The kingdom, power, and glory give.
He comes ! He comes ! The groans of Babylon,
The shouts of Sion, and the fervent prayers
Of saints of every name, in unity-
Join as one voice; and all proclaim, " He comes I 9
Soon will all eyes with ecstacy behold,
In one exalted person manifest,
360 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
A reigning Saviour, and a smiling God.
Then for the morning of immortal day,
When the bright Sun of Righteousness shall rise,
And bless the nations with his sevenfold light ;
When love, and 303*, and holiness shall crown
The fruitful seasons, through a thousand years.
And now the anthem swells! — on every hand
A cloud of incense gathers o'er the land ;
Faith upward mounts, upon devotion's wings,
And like the lark, at heaven's pure portal sings;
From myriad tongues the song of praise is poured,
And o'er them floats " the Spirit of the Lord !"
The vision widens! — northward brightly rolled,
That Spirit rests upon the <( isles of gold :"
Eastward, rnethinks, the beauteous veil expands,
And smiles upon a hundred sea-bound lands :
Far to the west, it breaks the moral night,
And all the islands slumber in its light :
Up, up again, I trace the spreading glow,
Till all the wide Pacific lies below :
Far, far away from where its course began,
I see it rouse thy empire, fierce Japan !
I see it fling its hallow'd beams around,
Where once the cross was trampled on the ground :
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 361
Westward, once more, it makes its shining road,
And China worships at the name of God ;
Down to the dust the Priests of Brahma bow,
And Truth sits smiling on the shrines of Fo :
Till, lo ! it brightens o'er its native earth,
And burns above the cradle of its birth —
Arabia basks beneath the blessed beam :
And Europe suns her in the glorious gleam :
And Britain smiles upon her ocean-seat,
While all the world is glowing at her feet ;
For see ! the ray she fostered in her breast
Has won its kindling way o'er east and west,
And all the nations in its beauty sleep,
As the vast waters fill the boundless deep !
Unlike the summer of the frigid zone,
Fervid and bright, but hastening to be gone ;
Where transient verdure to long searness yields,
While dayless winter desolates the fields ;
Where through a lingering night of darkling weeks,
In murky cells immurM, the peasant seeks
A cheerless refuge from the deathly clime,
And whiles in sleep away the weary time : —
3t>2 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
The budding fig-tree* tells a summer nigh
Of changeless seasons and a cloudless sky,
Whose sun shall ne'er go down : — the verdant e
To all the vigour of her primal birth
Regenerate, — renewed in all her powers,
Garnished and clothed with amaranthine flown
Shall bloom a Paradise from shore to shore,
To groan, to travail, and to fade no more.
E'tn now the rivers swell — life's crystal streams
Broad and more deeply flew :— not in the dreams, —
The mystic visions of the Prophet's soul, ~J
But in clear light the quickening waters roll >-
From Sion's riven rock to either pole. 3
Mark, how the desert blossoms as the rose !
See, where the current of Salvation flows ;
Mountains and forests clap their mighty hands,
A laugh of gladness shakes remotest lands ;
Down to old Ocean's caves the echo flies,
Deep follows deep in plaudits to the skies !
Here, Ethiop's ebon children stretch their hands
To God ; lo, there the swarthy Hindoo stands,
And turns his gleaming eye from Gunga's tide
To where the saving waters softly glide.
Here, fair Europa laves her tarais'd vest ;
Lo, there Columbia's vagrant tribes find rest.
* Ltike xxi. 29, 30.
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 363
See, to the profluent wave they bend ! They rise!
Hark ! Hallelujah's burst o'er all the skies.
Jmmakuel descends to dwell with men,
And man enjoys Jehovah's smile again.
But who shall see the glorious day,
When, thron'd on Zion's brow,
The Lord shall rend that veil away
Which hides the nations now !
When earth no more beneath the fear
Of his rebuke shall lie ;
When pain shall cease, and every tear
Be wiped from every eye !
Then, Judah ! thou no more shall mourn
Beneath the Gentile's chain ;
Thy days of splendour shall return,
And all be new again. —
The fount of life shall then be quaff'd,
In peace, by all who come ;
And every wind that blows shall waft
Seme long-lost exile home !
364 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
Break forth, ye mountains, into joyful song !
Ye barren wilds, the rapt'rous strain prolong!
Barren no more; unwonted verdure grows,
And the dry desert blossoms as the rose.
Behold, all nature proves a second birth,
New skies embrace a new-created earth :
From the glad scene for ever woe retires,
Pain is no more, and Death himself expires.
Ye Angels, strike. the full resounding-lyre,
Swell the glad chorus, all ye heavenly choir !
She comes! she comes! descending from on high
The Holy City meets the ravishM eye !
Bride of the Lamb, without a spot or stain,
Cleans'd of her crimes, and ransonvd of her chain.
Look at her gates, her glorious towers behold,
More clear than crystal, and more fair than gold.
There dwell the Lord's redeem'd in glory bright,
Gaze on his face, and live amidst his light :
Haste the delights, that time can ne'er destroy,
Eternal fulness of unfading joy.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH 3G*>
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
The day is broke, which never more shall close.
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air.
Hear I, or dream I hear, their distant strain,
Sweet to the soul, and tasting strong of heav'n,
Soft wafted on celestial Pity's plume,
Thro' the vast spaces of the universe,
To cheer me in this melancholy gloom ?
Oh ! when will death (now stingless), like a friend,
Admit me of their choir? Oh ! when will death
This mouldering, old, partition-wall throw down?
Give beings, one in nature, one abode?
Oh death divine I that gives us to the skies !
Great future ! glorious patron of the past
366 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
And present, when shall I thy shrine adore ?
From Nature's continent immensely wide,
Immensely blest, this little isle of life,
This dark incarcerating colony
Divides us. Happy day that breaks our chain !
That manumits — that calls from exile home —
That leads to Nature's great metropolis,
And readmits us, thro' the guardian hand
Of elder brothers, to our father's throne ;
Who hears our Advocate, and through his wounds
Beholding man, allows that tender name.
'Tis this makes Christian triumph a command ;
'Tis this makes joy a duty to the wise.
'Tis impious in a good man to be sad.
When musing Sorrow weeps the past,
And mourns the present pain ;
How sweet to think of peace at last,
And feel that death is gain !
'Tis not that murm'ring thoughts arise,
And dread a Father's will ;
'Tis not that meek Submission flies,
And would not suffer still.
THE CELESTFAL SABBATH. 3t|
It is that heaven-taught Faith surveys
The path to realms of light ;
And longs her eagle plumes to rais*,
And lose herself in sight.
It is that Hope with ardour glows
To see Him face to face,
Whose dying love no language knows
Sufficient art to trace.
It is that harassed Conscience feels
The pangs of struggling sin ;
Sees, though afar, the hand that heals,
And ends her war within.
Oh ! let me wing my hallow M flight
From earth-born woe and care ;
And soar beyond these realms of night,
My Saviour's bliss to share.
Enthroned upon a hill of light,
A heavenly minstrel sings ;
And sounds, unutterably bright,
Spring from the golden strings.
368 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Who would have thought so fair a form
Once bent beneath an earthly storm.
Yet was he sad and lonely here ;
Of low and humble birth ;
And mingled, while in this dark sphere,
With meanest sons of earth :
In spirit poor, in look forlorn,
The jest of mortals and the scorn,
A crown of heavenly radiance now,
A harp of golden strings,
Glitters upon his deathless brow,
And to bis hymn-note rings.
The bower of interwoven light
Seems, at the sound, to grow more bright.
Then, while with visage black and sear,
The poor in soul we see ;
Let us not think what he is here,
But what he soon will be ;
And look beyond this earthly night,
To crowns of gold, and bowers of light.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 369
Oh, glorious hour, it comes with speed !
When we, from sin and darkness freed,
Shall see the God who died for man,
And praise him more than angels can.
What joy, while thus I view the day
That warns my thirsting soul away,
What transports fill my breast ;
For, lo ! my great Redeemer's power
Unfolds the everlasting door,
And leads me to his rest.
The festal morn, my God ! is come
That calls me to the hallowM dome,
Thy presence to adore ;
My feet the summons shall attend,
With willing steps thy courts ascend,
And tread th> ethereal floor.
E'en now, to my expecting eyes,
The heaven-built towers of Salem rise ;
E'en now, with glad survey,
I view her mansions that contain
TV angelic forms, an awful train,
And shine with cloudless day.
370 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Hither, from earth's remotest end,
Lo! the redeem'd of God ascend,
Their tribute hither bring —
Here, crowned with everlasting joy,
In hymns of praise their tongues employ.
And hail th' immortal King ! —
Great Salem's King ! who bids each state
On her decrees dependent wait :
In her, ere time begun,
High on eternal base uprear'd,
His hands the regal seat prepar'd
For Jesse's favour'd Son.
Mother of Cities ! o'er thy head
See Peace, with healing wings outspread,
Delighted fix her stay.
How blest, who calls himself thy friend !
Success his labours shall attend,
And safely guard his way.
Thy walls, remote from hostile fear,
Nor the loud voice of Tumult hear,
Nor War's wild wastes deplore :
There smiling Plenty takes her stand.
And in thy courts, with lavish hand,
Has ponr'd forth all her store.
THE CELESTFAL SABBATH. 37l
Let me, blest seat ! my name behold
Among thy citizens enrolPd,
In thee for ever dwell.
Let Charity my steps attend,
My sole companion and my friend,
And Faith and Hope farewell.
I love to think of heav'n, where I shall meet
My fellow travellers, and where no more
With grief or sin my mind will be disturb'd ;
Where holy saints and holy angels dwell
In constant harmony and mutual love.
But when my heart anticipates the light
Of God Incarnate, wearing on his side,
And hands, and feet, those marks of love divine,
Which he on Calvary for me endurM,
All heav'n beside is swallowM up in this ;
And He, who is my hope of heaven below,
Appears the glory of my heav'n above,
372 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
If Nature smiles, e'en here below,
Where sin hath tarnish'd all with woe,
So heavenly sweet and fair ;
With warbling birds and breathing flowers,
Hills, woods, and waters, — past the powers
Of mortals to declare ;
Oh think, the scenery of that world,
(Eternity's dim curtain furPd)
How beauteous, how sublime !
What gardens there, what bowers and vales,
What living streams, melodious gales,
To glad th' immortal clime !
If looks, with such a glorious glance,
Yon sun from yonder blue expanse,
There's rapture in the sight ;
If night's thick host so solemn gleam,
And the sweet moon o'er all doth stream
So exquisite a light ;
What light, what glory, must be there,
What heavens, beyond our poor compare,
O'er-canopy th' abode.
Where neither day they know, nor night *,
For there the Lamb is all their light,
And all their glory, God !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 373
If here so fair the forms we scan
Of various life, and most of man ;
So eloquent the eye ;
Such grandeur, sprightliness, or grace ;
Where Death hath seal'd the loveliest face,
Whose smile e'er wak'd a sigh :
How sweet, how glorious to behold
Those bodies of celestial mould,
Without a speck, a taint !
Their eyes all sanctity and love,
Their wings all seraph-like, — above
The reach of thought to paint !
If darkly through a glass to see,
And know in part, thus infantly,
Such interest here convey ;
If such a varied charm we find
In Newtou's, or in Milton's mind,
Grave thought, or fancy gay ;
Oh, there in soul to ripen ! oh
To see all face to face, and know
E'en as ourselves are known ;
Spirit with spirit, mind with mind ;
Uncloy'd, unclouded, unconfin'd ;
Truth's universe our own I
374 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH,
If here the interchange of hearts
Such an all-healing balm imparts,
And love each sorrow cheers ;
Where many a human fault alloys,
And partings break our social joys,
And smiles are mix'd with tears ;
Then oh, where no farewells intrude,
No selfish, no unkindly mood,
Their harmony to impair:
Where all is loveliness and love ; —
What pure, what deep content they prove;
What sweet communion, there !
If where, around our holiest things,
Sin, viper-like, still creeps and clings,
And faintness comes, and fear ;
Yet faith can such a peace afford ;
Hope such a joy, to brighten, Lord,
Thy distant dwellings here;
Then think, where sin hath no control,
Where faintness ne'er weighs down the soul,
Where fear of change is o'er ;
Where faith, where hope, need no employ, —
In God's own presence, think what joy,
Full and for evermore !
THE CELESTIAL SAB HATH, 375
If here the toils, the thoughts to note,
A Luther bore, a Leighton wrote,
Such calm delight we find ;
The Church's history to peruse,
And, chief, on words of Jesus muse,
On Paul's, or David's mind ;
There, with those spirits to converse,
And hear them each with praise rehearse
Whatever on earth they prov'd ;
To see that Saviour as he is,
Yea, to be like him,— crown of bliss, —
Whom here, unseen, we lovM !
If in our soul so sweet to trace
The impressions of supernal Grace,
Imperfectly discern'd ;
With eye so dim, through mist so dense,
To spell the lines of Providence
In mystic mazes twin'd ;
Then oh ! to witness, ail unveil'd,
How wisdom, truth, and love ne'er fail'd !
How beauteous, when avow'd,
In grace, in providence, they work'd 1
What beams of glory ever lurk'd
Behind the darkest cloud !
376 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
If blest, in silence and apart,
Heavenward we pour out all the heart,
Tts every joy or care ;
If blest, on festival divine,
Th> assembled brotherhood we join
Tn vocal praise or prayer ;
What, with the innumerable throng
Of angels and redeem'd, the song
Of endless praise to pour ;
And all the miracles we trace
In Nature, Providence, or Grace,
Enraptur'd still V adore !
If, therefore, midst so much alloy,
There's so much beauty, so much joy,
In matter or in mind ;
If midst a world of sin-born woe,
— These troubled waters here below, —
Such sweetness oft we find ;
What joy, what beauty must be there,
In soul, in sense, — beyond whatever
Beauty or joy we call ;
Where in his glory shines the King,
Where flows of bliss th> unsullied spring,
— Source, centre, end of all !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 377
These heavens, this earth, so fair to day,
Must, with a hideous crash, give way ;
The fatal hour is signM :
Must shrivel like a flaming scroll ;
And, where they fill'd the wond'rous whole,
u Leave not a wreck behind 1"
But never through essential day,
The new creation shall decay :
That world of love and truth
Is God-like all ; it caimot die ;
ImpregnM with immortality,
And ever vernal youth.
Then, mortal, why on infant toys,
On shadowy cares, on meteor joys,
Should all thy soul be spent?
Why, — blest and chasten'd, woo'd and aw'd,
In these his works forget thy God,
Thy home in this thy tent ?
No, learn to look with faith serene
At things eternal, tho' unseen,
Eternal, undefiPd !
Like children, once, we thought, we spake ;
But, grown to manhood, we forsake
The trifles of the child.
378 THE CELESTIAL SABliATIJ.
Hallelujah ! Lord our God !
Now our earthly path is trod :
Pass'd are now our cares and fears,
And we quit this vale of tears.
Hallelujah ! King of kings !
Now our spirits spread their wings,
To the mansions of the blest,
To thy everlasting rest.
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flow 'rets crowned,
They eat, they drink, and, in communion sweet,
Quaff immortality and joy.
Hail ! heavenly scenes of peace,
Where all the storms of passion cease,
Wild life's dismaying struggle o'er,
The wearied spirit weeps no more ;
But wears the eternal smile of joy,
Attaining bliss without alloy !
Welcome, welcome happy bowers,
Where no passing tempest lowers ;
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH: SM
Where the azure heavens display
The everlasting beams of day ;
Where the radiant Seraph choirs,
Pour their strains from golden lyres ;
Where calm the spirit sinks to ease,
LullM by angelic symphonies !
O, then to think of meeting there
The friends whose graves received our tear !
The child long lost, the friend bereav'd,
Back to our sorrowing hearts receivM ;
And all the joys which death did sever,
Given to us again for ever !
O Lamb of God ! by sorrow provM
The friend of man, the Christ belovM !
To thee this sweetest hope we owe,
Which warms our shiv'ring hearts below.
H. K. White,
their golden harps they took,
Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high j
380 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
Melodious part; such concord is in heaven,
Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King ; the Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
Throned inaccessible ; but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud
Brawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest Seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
Thee next they sang of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold ; on thee
Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides,
Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests.
O unexampled love !
Love no where to be found less than Divine I
Hail, Son of God ! Saviour of men ! thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song
Henceforth, and never shall my heart thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 381
Faith lifts the soal above this little ball;
While gleam? of glory open round,
And circling choirs of angels call.
Look up, my soul! pant toward the eternal hills ;
Those heavens are fairer than they seem :
There pleasures, all sincere, glide on in crystal rills ;
There not a dreg of guilt defiles,
Nor grief disturbs the stream.
That Canaan knows no noxious thing,
No cursed soil, no tainted spring,
No roses grow on thorns, nor honey wears a sting.
Fair emblem of a better rest
Of which believers are possest,
Beyond material space !
Methinks I see the heavenly shore,
Where sin and sorrow are no more ;
And long to reach the place.
Nor shall I always absent be
From Him my soul desires to see,
Within the realms of light:
382 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Ere long, my Lord will rend tlie veil,
And not a cloud shall then conceal
His glory from my sight.
Sweet hope ! it makes the coward brave ;
It makes a freeman of the slave
And bids the sluggard rise :
It lifts a worm of earth on high,
Provides him wings, and makes him fly
To mansions in the skies.
All that till now their rapt researches knew,
Not calPd in slow succession to review ;
But, as a landscape meets the eye of day,
At once presented to their glad survey !
Each scene of bliss reveaPd, since chaos fled,
And dawning light its dazzling glories spread ;
Each chain of wonders that sublimely glow'd,
Since first Creation's choral anthem flowed ;
Each ready flight, at Mercy's smile divine,
To distant worlds that undiscovered shine ;
On memory's tablet flings its living rays,
And all, combined, with blest effulgence blaze.
There thy bright train, immortal Friendship, soar ;
No more to part, to mingle tears no more !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 383
And, as the softening hand of Time endears
The joys and sorrows of our infant years,
So there the soul, released from human strife,
Smiles at the little cares and ills of life ;
Its lights and shades, its sunshine and its showers,
As at a dream that charm'd her vacant hours.
Daughter of Faith ! awake, arise ! illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb !
Melt and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day ,
The strife is o'er — the pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark ! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of heaven, undazzled by the blaze,
On heavenly winds, that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody ;
Wild as the hallow 'd anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hush'd his waves, and midnight still
Watch'd on the holy towers of Zion's hill.
384 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
O ye blest scenes of permanent delight \
Full above measure ! lasting beyond bound !
A perpetuity of bliss is bliss.
Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end,
That ghastly thought would drink up all your joy,
And quite unparadise the realms of light.
Safe are you iodg'd above these rolling spheres.
And He who cried to Lazarus, Come forth !
Will, when the Sabbath of the tomb is past,
Call forth the dead, and reunite the dust
(Transform'd and purified) to angel-souls.
Ecstatic hope! belief, conviction firm!
How grateful 'tis to recollect the time
When hope arose to faith ! Faintly, at first,
The heavenly voice is heard ; then, by degrees,
Its music sounds perpetual in the heart.
And where a Father is, there is a home.
Our risen Lord is there to give us welcome —
Hosts of attendant angels, round his throne,
Prepare the feast to greet the coming guest —
The harps are strung, the loud acclaim is ready,
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 385
The joy of heaven itself is not so great,
But the lost child's return will make it greater —
The gate stands wide, the messenger is winged,
A Father's arms are open !
O what remains ?— *a throne ! a crown I
For us, base aliens ! us — his murderers — won !
With him deputed heirs, joint-heirs of heav'n !
Oh ! power, fruit, gift of strange mysterious grace !
Abyss ! when fathomM, but more lost — to view
A prime archangel from his golden orb
Fallen to a fiend !— a human reptile, vile,
Rais'd from a frail, weak infant of a span,
Guilty, as weak, to fill his vacant throne !
And is this glory mine ? — it is ! it is !
O false humility ! thou vice disguised
In specious dress, of foul infernal die,
Thou loud blasphemer of the truth of heaven !
That dares the promise, dares the oath of God
Discountenance by unbelieving fear.
These glories all are mine ! as sure in pledge
As if possess'd ; when death, the hour of joy,
That waited, wish'd for hour ! shall minister
My large induction. Sad, distrustful heart,
No longer droop ! live, royally my hope !
396 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
On the full, safe reversion ! O exult
My faith, my love, my heavenly-raised desire,
My holy gratitude ! — in every state,
In every view, my whole of being blest!
Amply, while living; amplest, when T die !
He, who is my hope of heaven below
Appears the glory of my heaven above.
Lord of the Sabbath ! hear our vows,
On this thy day, in this thine house,
And own, as grateful sacrifice
The songs which from the desert rise.
Thine earthly Sabbaths, Lord ! we love ;
But there's a nobler rest above ;
To that our labouring souls aspire,
With ardent pangs of strong desire.
No more fatigue, no more distress ;
Nor sin, nor hell, shall reach the place;
No groans to mingle with the songs
Which warble from immortal tongues.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 387
No rude alarm of raging foes ;
No cares to break the long repose ;
No midnight shade, no clouded sun,
But sacred, high, eternal noon.
O long expected day ! begin :
Dawn on these realms of woe and sin ;
Fain would we leave this weary road,
And sleep in death, to rest with God.
Has one seventh portion more of measured time,
Of holiest time, been lent? accomplished well,
Tho' weak, in duties' painful husbandry ?
And wilt thou, senseless ! from the harvest-feast,
ServM by my hand, a self absenter turn? —
From this Sabbatic Type of shadow'd rest,
Climb thy mind's scale to its reality,
Thy everlasting Sabbath : hop'd and sure. —
What must it be of exquisitely blest,
That eye, nor ear, of pleasant, or of sweet,
Nor powers of human heart can least conceive !
Has God created Earth's mean spot so fair,
A work not meant for perfect, which his hand,
As the rough outlirues, a mere sketch of power,
One day shall blot, consigning it to flames?
388 THE CELESTIAL SAB6ATH.'
How must be then, so opulent and wise,
His lovelier, everlasting world have built !
A standing trophy of Almighty skill !
Where saints, all congregate in one, shall keep
Eternal sabbatism of joy and praise.
In his pleasM presence, overfull of bliss,
Associate with their mediatorial King!
And dear companions of angelic thrones !
No night, discomfiting, shall heavy spread
Her raven wing, nor moon shall need suspend
Her friendly lamp ; the Power who made the sun,
That immaterial, uncreated light,
Himself shall beam the more effulgent day.
O what a Temple shall I enter then,
Myself a pillar, by the builder, made :
From my blest station ne'er to be displac'd !
To view this mortal in immortal shrin'd!
Corruption changed for incorruptible !
This life of sin, for life immaculate!
The triple league of Satan, world, and flesh,
Spoiled, routed, broke — Temptation, ended all!
And last repentance, flying in their rear !
No more with sickness, care, and penury,
Sharp disappointments, insults, slights, and wrongs,
Myself to mourn, or share another's pang !
From, fears of life at rest, and fears of death ;
My works of imperfection, toil, and pain ! —
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 389
What transports shall it give to feel my tears
WipM all, for ever, from these eyes away
By God's own blissful hand ; his face to see i
In fatherly relentings reconcil'd,
Rejoicing over me ! — and be seated near
My Saviour-friend, while with longing soul
I hear, of matchless love, his sufPring tale !
Hear! with a holy gratitude, that needs —
With a strange kind of pitying sympathy —
My trembling spirit must half mourning leave ;
u Sad, in the bosom of so many joys,"
Which his sweet converse shall as soon appease ;
Fill'd, from his presence, with beatitude
InefTable, as from a living stream
Pour'd ; plenteous as my finite can sustain.
No longer, there, my solace keeping heart
Shall of estrangement, frowns, and absences,
Rebellious hardness, or dull frozen damp,
Darkness, or wand'rings, ever more, lament.
Perfection issues from our union full,
In ev'ry power, and faculty matured :
My knowledge shall be perfected, and will,
And holiness grow up a nature there ;
And perfected affections, all at height ;
Love burning clear, and full meridian joy ! —
Strange bliss! too wonderful for mind— for tongue —
To comprehend, mysterious ! or express.
390 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Completed and, at once, progressive too!
Loving, still more to love ! and without bound,
Rising to rise, and knowing but to know.
Beginning, as we end! and running thro'
Myriads of aeras, only to begin !
O, what a centre, indivisible,
In one vast circle, is eternity !
O, what an ocean deep is infinite !
Impossible to fathom, or exhaust. —
What confiscations, felt, of Deity —
Too brightly glorious for a mortal's strength,
Break on my sinking dust ! —Thought can sustain,
And utterance reach no more, my God ! my God !
When the pale moon to blood shall turn,
The bright sun vanish from the sky,
A fiercer flame than his shall burn, —
A broader light flash forth on high :
That light, O Lord ! thy throne shall be,
And circling clouds thy canopy!
Thy voice to being shall recall
The moulder'd dust that once was man—
The countless multitude of all
Who lived, since time itself began ;
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 391
Thy burning car the dead shall see,
And catch returning life from thee.
Then shall the haughty despots know,
Who dared thy martyr'd saints condemn,
Thou wert their hope in every woe —
Thy hand prepared the crown for them.
Oh ! may that crown of grace be mine !
The glory, Lord ! be only thine !
• „ There is a Paradise that fears
No forfeiture ; and of its fruits he sends
Large prelibation oft to saints below.
Of these, the first in order, and the pledge
And confident assurance of the rest,
Is liberty — a flight into his arms,
Ere yet mortality's fine threads give way,
A clear escape from tyrannizing lust,
And full immunity from penal woe.
O had I the wings of a dove,
I'd make my escape and be gone ;
IM mix with the spirits above,
Who encompass yon heavenly throne :
392 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH,
Pd fly, from all labour and toil,
To the place where the weary have rest j
Pd haste, from contention and broil,
To the peaceful abode of the blest.
How happy are they, who no more
Have to fear the assaults of the foe !
Arrived on the heavenly shore,
They have left all their conflicts below :
They are far from all danger and fear,
While remembrance enhances their joys :
As the storm, when escaped, will endear
The retreat that the haven supplies.
Around that magnificent throne,
Where the Lamb all his glory displays,
United for ever in one,
His people are singing his praise.
How holy, how happy are they !
No tongue can express their delight :
My soul, now unwilling to stay,
Prepares for her heavenly flight.
But why do I wish to be gone ?
Do I want from the danger to flee ?
And shall I do nothing for one,
Who was once such a sufferer for me ?
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 393
Ah, Lord ! let me think of the day
When thou wast " rejected of men,"
And put the base wish far away,
And never be fearful again.
Nor less my perverseness forgive,
That, when ease and prosperity come,
Thy servant is willing to live,
And his exile prefers to his home.
Ah, Lord ! what a creature am I !
Sure nothing can heighten my guilt —
Forgive me ! forgive me ! I cry,
And make me whatever thou wilt!
" He sleeps in Jesus I" — Hark the Bridegroom's
Is heard among the tombs ! his advent call
Has run through all the region of the graves !
He says, " I come! the Shepherd of my flock,
" The faithful promiser : I quickly come !
" To claim, seek out, and raise my waiting saints. M
O quickly come ! Judge, Advocate, and Friend,
To claim, seek out, and raise thy waiting saints !
Ye heavens, unfold immeasurably wide!
Ye golden gates, reveal the pomps ! the train !
394 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
The emblaz'd, innumerous armies of the skies,
With their illustrious head, Messiah King!
Archangel, lift thy voice ! sound, trump of God!
Blow ! blow ! and burst the graves ! — awake ! arise !
Come forth, ye ransom'd pris'ners of the tombs!
Seas, give up your dead ! all living found
Earth's farthest space ! surpris'd — all call'd at once —
Sudden as moves the twinkling eye — be changed !
Wail, Hell ! shout, Heaven ! sing Earth ! rejoice and
praise ! —
Cheer'd,quicken'd, strengthen'd, founded on this Faith —
This hope-supporting, spirit-giving Faith !
Lord ! let me rest my head ; close last these eyes !
Yield thee my breath ; and, with exulting soul!
Smile — a peace utter'd — dying— sweet, Amen !
There is a pure and peaceful wave,
That rolls around the throne of love,
Whose waters gladden as they lave
The peaceful shores above.
While streams, which on that tide depend,
Steal from those heav'nly shores away,
And on this desert world descend,
O'er weary lands to stray.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 395
The pilgrim faint, and nigh to sink
Beneath his load of earthly woe,
Refreshed beside their verdant brink,
Rejoices in their flow.
There, oh ray sonl ! do thou repair,
And hover o'er the hallowed spring,
To drink the crystal wave, and there
To lave thy wearied wing.
There droop that wing, when far it flies
From human care, and toil, and strife,
And feed by those still streams that rise
Beneath the Tree of Life.
It may be, that the waft of love
Some leaves on that pure tide have driven,
Which, passing from the shores above,
Have floated down from heaven !
So shall thy wounds and woes be healM,
By the blest virtue that they bring ;
So thy parch'd lips shall be unseal'd,
Thy Saviour's praise to sing.
396 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Parting soul! the flood awaits thee,
And the billows round thee roar ;
Yet look on — the crystal city
Stands on yon celestial shore !
There are crowns and thrones of glory,
There the living waters glide,
There the just, in shining raiment,
Wander by Emmanuel's side.
Linger not — the stream is narrow,
Though its cold dark waters rise ;
He who pass'd the flood before thee,
Guides thy path to yonder skies :
Hark ! the sound of angels hymning,
Rolls harmonious o'er thine ear ;
See, the walls and golden portals
Through the midst of death appear.
Soul adieu — this gloomy sojourn
Holds thy captive feet no more ;
Flesh is dropt, and sin forsaken,
Sorrow done, and weeping o'er.
Through the tears thy friends are shedding,
Smiles of hope serenely shine ;
Nota friend remains behind thee,
But would change his lot with thine.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 397
If God hath made this world so fair.
Where sin and death abound ;
How beautiful, beyond compare,
Will Paradise be found !
Ye, as within the veil, drink all the beams
Of Deity that, like a sunshine, fill
Your temple : yet no sun, no temple, yours ;
God is the Temple there ; the universe
Is lost in God, the universal Sun ;
The host of night lost in the Lord of day !
That presence, here invisible, or seen
In dim reflection from his work and word,
There ye behold, immediate, as it is ;
And in the bright immensity of God,
Breathing beatitude, for ever bask.
Yet shall we join you, sons of God, (the hour,
How near it hovers!) if but faithful found
To that so high vocation : such the grace,
Unspeakable, of Him, the Saviour God,
To rebels, made probationers for heaven !
Soon as, unclothM of dust, our spirits pass
Into the unknown infinite of being,
Rapt on your wings to Paradise, to Christ ;
Yet shall we join you, not unmeet ; as heirs
398 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Of that mysterious mercy, whose profound,
Ye, in your bending wonder, long to explore :
Lower awhile than you, yet honour'd more:
Since in your nature ne'er was Godhead shrin'd,
TV amazing union was reserv'd for man,
— Vision of glory ! o'er these clouded waves
Of life, e'en now it casts a trembling gleam :
E'en now young Faith stretches her aching gaze,
Oft thro' the mists of sorrow, tow'rd the hills
Glistening in uncreated light beyond
Those dark clouds edged with gold.
Oh ! the hour when this material
Shall have vanish'd like a cloud ;
When, amid the wide ethereal,
All th' invisible shall crowd ;
And the naked soul, surrounded
With realities unknown,
Triumph in the view unbounded,
Feel herself with God alone.
In that sudden strange transition,
By what new and finer sense
Shall she grasp the mighty vision.
And receive its influence ?
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 399
Angels guard the new immortal
Through the wonder-teeming space,
To the everlasting portal,
To the spirit's resting-place.
Will she then, with fond emotion,
Aught of human love retain ?
Or, absorb'd in pure devotion,
Will no earthly trace remain?
Can the grave those ties dissever,
With the very heart-strings twined ?
Must she part, and part for ever,
With the friend she leaves behind ?
No : the past she still remembers ;
Faith and Hope, surviving too,
Ever watch those sleeping embers,
Which must rise and live anew :
For the widowM lonely spirit
Mourns till she be clothed afresh ;
Longs perfection to inherit,
And to triumph in the flesh.
Angels, let the ransomM stranger
In your tender care be blest,
Hoping, trusting, free from danger,
Till the trumpet end her rest ;
400 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Till the trump, which shakes creation,
Through the circling heavens shall roll,
Till the day of consummation,
Till the bridal of the soul.
Can I trust a fellow-being?
Can I trust an angel's care ?
O thou merciful All-seeing !
Beam around my spirit there.
Jesus, blessed Mediator !
Thou the airy path hast trod —
Thou, the Judge, the Consummator,
Shepherd of the fold of God !
Blessed fold ! no foe can enter,
And no friend departeth thence ;
Jesus is their Sum, their Centre,
And their shield Omnipotence —
Blessed ! for the Lamb shall feed them,
All their tears shall wipe away,
To the living fountains lead them,
Till fruition's perfect day.
Lo ! it comes, that day of wonder,
Louder chorals shake the skies ;
Hades' gates are burst asunder,
See the new-clothed myriads rise !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 401
Thought ! repress thy weak endeavour :
Here must Reason prostrate fall.
Oh ! the ineffable For Ever,
And the Eternal All in All !
Lord ! I believe thou hast prepared,
Unworthy though I be :
For me, a blood bought, free reward,
A golden harp for me.
>Tis strung — hark ! all Creation hears !
Attun'd by power divine,
To sound through everlasting years,
No other name but Thine.
River of Life ! through heavenly vales,
Thy fair eternal waters glide ;
How sweet, when earthly comfort fails,
To view in faith thy living tide !
All bright with joy, and fresh with love —
Love, full and boundless as its source ;
It gladdens all the fields above,
And brightens heaven in its course.
402 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
River of Life ! to gaze on thee,
To view in faith thy streams of bliss,
May cause us of yon world to see
Enough to comfort us in this.
The people of the Lord
Are on their way to heaven ;
There they obtain their great reward,
The prize will there be given.
? Tis conflict here below ;
>Tis triumph there, and peace :
On earth we wrestle with the foe,
In heaven our conflicts cease.
J Tis gloom and darkness here ;
>Tis light and joy above :
There all is pure, and all is clear ;
There all is peace and love.
>Tis snares and dangers here ;
But, when we reach our home,
Then danger is no more, nor fear ;
Our joys are then to come*
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 403
There rest shall follow toil,
And ease succeed to care ;
The victors there divide the spoil;
They sing and triumph there.
Then let us joyful sing!
The conflict is not long :
We hope in heaven to praise our King,
In one eternal song.
There is a river pure and bright,
Whose streams make glad the heavenly plains ;
Where, in eternity of light,
The city of our God remains.
Built by the word of his command,
With his unclouded presence blest,
Firm as his throne the bulwarks stand ;
There is our home, our hope, our rest.
Thither let fervent faith aspire,
Our treasure aud our heart be there :
O for a seraph's wing of fire !
No — on the mightier wings of prayer, —
404 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
We reach at once that last retreat,
And, ranged among the ransom'd throng,
Fall with the Elders at his feet,
Whose name alone inspires their song.
Ah, soon — how soon ! our spirits droop ;
Unwont the air of heaven to breathe :
Yet God in very deed will stoop,
And dwell himself with men beneath.
Come to thy living temples, then,
As in the ancient times appear ;
Let earth be paradise again,
And man, O God, thine image here.
But he, whose presence fills existence, hides,
Or dimly shows it — save in heaven. >Tis there,
His temple's Holy of Holies, marked in type
By that of old. Vainly the Muse attempts
That new creation ; since not he who caught
A glimpse of Paradise, in mortal phrase
Could paint the bliss, unlawful to be told.
There God unfolds his presence clouded here,
And shines eternal day. All, all is there
Bright effluence of the uncreated Mind ;
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 405
Infinite beauty, all ! A vernal life,
A fire ethereal, unperceivM itself,
Felt in its glorious energy, pervades
And thrills, through every part, the taintless whole :
The air, the soil, the rivers, fruits, and flowers,
Instinct with immortality and touch'd
With amaranthine freshness, by the hand
That formM them, and the beatific smile
That ever beams around them. Every heart
Catches that smile ; each eye reflects it ; all,
In body and in spirit, sumless myriads,
Fill'd with empyreal vigour, fill'd with God,
And radiant in the glory of the Lamb !
Wrapt in thought of immortality,
Wrapt in the single, the triumphant thought!
Long life might lapse, age unperceivM come on,
And find the soul unsated with her theme.
But how great,
to lay hold,
By more than feeble faith, on the Supreme !
To call heav'n's rich unfathonable mines,
(Mines which support archangels in their state)
Our own ! to rise in science as in bliss,
406 THE CELESTIAL SABBATfc.
Initiate in the secrets of the skies!
To read creation ; read its mighty plau
In the bare bosom of the Deity !
The plan of execution to collate!
To see, before each glance of piercing thought
All cloud, all shadow, blown remote, and leave
No mystery— but that of love divine,
Which lifts us on the seraph's burning wing,
From earth's aceldama, this field of blood,
Of inward anguish, and of outward ill,
From darkness and from dust to such a scene !
Love's element! true joy's illustrious home !
From earth's sad contrast (now deplor'd) more fair !
What webs of wonder shall unravel there !
What full day pour on all the paths of heav'n,
And light the Almighty's footsteps in the deep !
How shall the blessed day of our discharge
Unwind, at once, the labyrinths of life,
And straighteu its inextricable maze ! -
If inextinguishable thirst in man
To know ; how rich, how full our banquet there !
There, not the moral world alone unfolds ;
The world material, lately seen in shades,
And in those shades by fragments only seen,
And seen those fragments by the lab'ring eye,
Unbroken then, illustrious and entire,
Its ample sphere, its universal frame,
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 407
In full dimensions swells to the survey,
And enters at one glance the ravish'd sight.
From some superior point (where, who can teilt)
How shall the stranger man's illumin'd eye,
In the vast ocean of unbounded space,
Behold an infiuite of floating worlds
Divide the crystal waves of ether pure,
In endless voyage, without port? The least
Of these disseminated orbs how great !
If admiration is a source of joy,
What transport hence ! yet this the least in heav'n.
What this to that illustrious robe he wears,
Who toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand
A specimen, an earnest of his pow'r !
'Tis to that glory, whence all glory flows,
As the mead's meanest flow'ret to the sun
Which gave it birth. But what this sun of heav'n?
This bliss supreme of the supremely blest?
Death, only death, the question can resolve.
Every moment's calm that soothes the breast
Is given in earnest of eternal rest.
408 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
There shall I bathe my weary soul
In seas of heavenly rest;
And not a wave of trouble roll
Across my peaceful breast.
Who are they, clothed in radiant white,
That stand around yon golden throne ;
Their garments of celestial light,
Pure with a lustre not their own ?
These are the saints, who once below
Walked in the path their Master trod ;
'Midst pain, and mockery, and woe,
And scorching flames, they sought their God.
Thro' his dear might who once was slain,
Firm at the burning stake they stood,
And washed, from every guilty stain,
Their garments in his precious blood.
Therefore around the throne they stand,
And in his holy temple shine ;
Rich in the joy of his right hand,
Rob'd in his righteousness divine.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 409
There they cau never hunger more,
Nor ask the cooling draught in vain ;
For he wili living waters pour,
And heal from every earthly pain.
In those blest realms of endless day,
The Lamb shall all their wants supply ;
And God's own hand shall wipe away
The falling tear from every eye.
Full on my wondering eye, yon brighter world
Bursts with eternal splendour, and sublimes
My heart's low, groveling powers,
And tunes my feeble lay.
Wide they expand ! the ethereal gates unfold ;
And light which dazzles angels, light divine,
That gleams to hell's dark caves,
Beams on a mortal eye !
Soon shall I rest where bliss for ever flows,
And angels strike their harps with sweetest chords,
To tune their Maker's praise —
The praises of my God.
41U THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
As some lone captive, on a foreign shore,
Sighs to behold his native land once more,
Counts the dull hours before he breaks his chain,
And greets his lov'd, his long-left home again ;
So bound and fettered to her cell of clay,
Tir impatient spirit longs to burst away ;
Scorns the vain world for nobler realms above,
And burns to dwell in everlasting love.
In those blest regions of eternal day,
No painful thorns obstruct the heavenly way ;
No earthly vapours dim the expanding sight
From the pure blaze of uncreated light.
No grief is there, no tears of sorrow flow ;
No bitter memory of a world of woe;
No ills, no wrongs, immortal joys molest ;
The wicked harm net, aud the weary rest.
Oh! might we bid a last adieu to earth,
And fly exulting to our destined birth,
Burst the weak bars that hold us pris'ners here,
And view the glories of the heavenly sphere:
Then wrapt in visions of celestial joy,
While endless praises every tongue employ,
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 411
Our ransomed souls, absorbed in sacred bliss,
Might see the great Redeemer as he is.
But first we must await the penal doom,
And bow unto the dark and silent tomb ;
Death, the last foe, must first be overcome,
Ere we can gain our long desired home.
Oh ! may we reach, this mortal conflict past,
On wings of faith, that glorious state at last ;
Kept by his might, who triumphed o'er the grave,
And died the just, an unjust world to save.
Then, when the mingling elements shall meet,
And the firm earth consume with fervent heat;
When wrapt in flames, and girt as with a robe
Of circling fire, shall melt this solid globe —
When, all around, creation's pillars shake,
And from their graves the sleeping dead awake —
That mighty voice, which rends the parting skies,
Shall bid our quicken'd dust to glory rise.
412 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
To take a glimpse within the veil,
To know that God is mine,
Are springs of joy that never fail,
Unspeakable ! divine !
These are the joys which satisfy,
And sanctify the mind ;
Which make the spirit mount on high,
And leave the world behind.
Then who with acceptance shall stand
In the presence of glory and light,
Having palm-branch, or censer, or harp in the hand,
And array J d in apparel of white, —
While that volume its awful contents shall reveal,
Which the Lion of Judah alone can unseal ?
Even they who, through great tribulation,
Have worshipped the holy I AM !
Whose spiritual garments are pure, by lavation
In the all-cleansing blood of the Lamb !
>Tis these, and these only, by day and by night,
Shall knee! in his temple, and stand in his sight.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 413
From them must the chorus ascend,
Which shall peal through the confines of space,
Of Holy ! thrice Holy ! and praise without end,
Unto God, for the gift of his Grace ; —
And praise to the Lamb, who for mortals was slain,
Yet liveth, for ever and ever to reign !"
There is an hour of peaceful rest
To mourning wand'rers given ;
There is a tear for souls distrest,
A balm for every wounded breast —
Tis found above — in heaven !
There is a soft, a downy bed,
>Tis fair as breath of even ;
A couch for weary mortals spread,
Where they may rest the aching head,
And find repose in heaven !
There is a home for weary souls,
By sin and sorrow driven ;
When tost on life's tempestuous shoals,
Where storms arise, and ocean rolls,
And all is drear — but heaven !
414 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Faith thither lifts the tearful eye.
The heart with anguish riven ;
And views the tempest passing by,
The evening shadows quickly fly,
.-Ml, all serene, in heaven !
There fragrant flowers immortal bloom,
And joys supreme are given ;
There rays divine disperse the gloom :
Beyond the confines of the tomb,
Appears the dawn of heaven !
Immortal ! Ages past, yet nothing gone !
Morn without eve ! a race without a goal;
UnshortenM by progression infinite!
Futurity for ever future ! Life
Beginning still, where computation ends !
Ye Angels, who stand round the throne,
And view my Emmanuel's face!
In rapturous songs make him known,
Tune, tune your soft harps to his praise !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 415
He form'd you the spirits you are,
So happy, so noble, so good !
When others sunk down in despair,
Confirm'd by his power ye stood.
Ye Saints, who stand nearer than they,
And cast your bright crowns at his feet J
His grace and his glory display,
And all his rich mercy repeat.
He snatchM you from hell and the grave ;
He ransomM from death and despair ;
For you, he was mighty to save,
Almighty to bring you safe there.
when will the moment appear
When I shall unite in your song !
Pm weary of lingering here,
And T to your Saviour belong!
Pm fetter M and bound up in clay,
I struggle and pant to be free ;
1 long to be soaring away,
My God and my Saviour to see.
I want to put on my attire,
Wash'd white in the blood of the Lamb ;
I want to be one of your choir,
And tune my sweet harp to his name;
416 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
I want — oh ! I want to be there,
Where sorrow and sin bid adieu ;
Your joy and your friendship to share,
To wonder and worship with you,
, Marie de Fleury.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease ;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
In vain the fancy strives to paint
The moment after death: —
The glories that surround the saint
When yielding up his breath.
One gentle sigh his fetters breaks,
We scarce can say, " He's gone I"
Before the willing spirit takes
Her station near the throne.
Faith strives, but all its efforts fail,
To trace her in her flight :
No eye can pierce within the veil
Which hides that world of light.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 417
Thus much, and this is all, we know,
They are completely blest ;
Have done with sin, and care, and woe,
And with their Saviour rest.
On harps of gold they praise his name,
His face they always view ;
Then let us followers be of them.
That we may praise him too.
Their faith and patience, love and zeal,
Should make their mem'ry dear;
And, Lord, do thou the prayers fulfil
They offered for us here !
While they have gained, we losers are ;
We miss them day by day ;
But thou canst every breach repair,
And wipe our tears away.
We pray, as in Elisha's case,
When great Elijah went,
May double portions of thy grace,
On us, who stay, be sent !
418 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Hope with uplifted foot, set free from earth,
Pants for the place of her ethereal birth,
On steady wings sails through th> immense abyss,
Plucks amaranthine joys from bovvers of bliss,
And crowns the soul, while yet a mourner here,
With wreaths like those triumphant spirits wear.
Hope, as an anchor firm and sure, holds fast
The christian vessel, and defies the blast.
Hope ! nothing else can nourish and secure
His new-born virtues, and preserve him pure.
Hope ! let the wretch, once conscious of the joy,
Whom no despairing agonies destroy,
Speak, for he can, and none so well as he,
What treasures centre, what delights, in thee,
Had he the gems, the spices, and the land
That boasts the treasure, all at his command ;
The fragrant grove, th' inestimable mine
Were light, when weigh M against one smile of thine.
Each golden harp,
Beneath the finger of angelic skill,
Sounds loud ; and every tongue as loud resounds
Immortal hallelujahs to the God,
Who condescends his majesty to veil
In mortal flesh, to ransom helpless man !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 419
Again they pause with wonder — and again
Shout, " Hallelujah \" while the loud Amen
Crowns the triumphant song with harmony ;
Till rapture, reverence, wonder, love, and praise,
With high responses till the court of heaven !
There is a land where everlasting suns
Shed everlasting brightness — where the soui
Drinks from the living streams of love that roll
By God's high throne ! — myriads of glorious ones
Bring there the accepted offering. O how blest
To look from this dark prison to that shrine,
T' inhale one breath of Paradise divine —
And enter into that eternal rest
Which waits the sons of God !
Come, Lord, and warm each languid heart,
Inspire each lifeless tongue;
And let the joys of heav'n impart
Their influence to our song.
Sorrow, and pain, and every care,
And discord there shall cease ;
420 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
And perfect joy, and love sincere.
Adorn the realms of peace.
The soul, from sin for ever free,
Shall feel its power no more ;
But clothM in spotless purity,
Redeeming love adore.
There shall the followers of the Lamb
Join in immortal songs :
And endless honours to his name
Employ their raptur'd tongues.
Lord, tune our hearts to praise and love,
Our feeble notes inspire ;
Till in thy blissful courts above,
We join th' angelic chcir.
What a blessedness,
Though for a moment only, to take wing
To the fair regions of eternal peace,
The paradise of everlasting spring,
Whose life-source is immortal !
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 421
We seek a rest beyond the skies,
In everlasting day ;
Through floods and flames the passage lies,
But Jesus guards the way :
The swelling flood, and raging flame,
Hear and obey his word!
Then let us triumph in his name,
Our Saviour is the Lord.
Ye golden lamps of heav'n, farewell [
With all your feeble light :
Farewell, thou ever-changing moon.
Pale empress of the night.
And thou, refulgent orb of day,
In brighter flames arrayed,
My soul, that spreads beyond thy sphere,
No more demands thine aid.
Ye stars are but the shining dust
Of my divine abode,
The pavement of those heav'nly courts,
Where I shall reign with God.
422 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
The Father of eternal light,
Shall there his beams display ;
Nor shall one moment's darkness mix
With that unwearied day.
No more the drops of piercing grief
Shall swell into mine eyes ;
Nor the meridian sun decline
Amidst those brighter skies.
There all the millions of his saints
Shall in one song unite,
And each the bliss of all shall view
With infinite delight.
As when the weary traveller gains
The height of some o ? er-looking hill,
His heart revives if, cross the plains,
He eyes his home, though distant still.
While he surveys the much-lov'd spot,
He slights the space that lies between ;
His past fatigues are now forgot,
Because his journey's end is seen.
TttE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 423
Thus, when the christian pilgrim views,
By faith, his mansion in the skies,
The sight his fainting strength renews,
And wings his speed to reach the prize.
The thought of home his spirit cheers,
No more he grieves for troubles past ;
Nor any future trial fears,
So he may safe arrive at last.
>Tis there, he says, I am to dwell
With Jesus, in the realms of day ;
Then I shall bid my cares farewell,
And he shall wipe my tears away.
Jesus, on thee our hope depends
To lead us on to thine abode :
Assured our hope will make amends
For all our toils while on the road.
To Jesus, the crown of my hope,
My soul is in haste to be gone ;
O bear me, ye cherubim ! up,
And waft me away to his throne,
424 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
My Saviour, whom, absent, I love ;
Whom, not having seen, I adore ;
Whose name is exalted above
All glory, dominion, and power!
Dissolve thou these bonds that detain
My soul from her portion in thee ;
Ah ! strike off this adamant chain,
And make me eternally free.
When that happy era begins,
When arrayM in thy glories T shine,
Nor grieve any more, by my sins,
The bosom on which I recline —
then shall the veil be removed,
And round me thy brightness be pourd ;
1 shall meet him whom, absent, I loved,
I shall see whom, unseen, I adored.
And then, never more shall the fears,
The trials, temptations, and woes,
Which darken this valley of tears,
Intrude on my blissful repose.
Or, if yet remembered above,
Remembrance no sadness shall raise,
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 425
They will be but new signs of thy love,
New themes for my wonder and praise.
Thus the strokes which from sin and from pain
Shall set me eternally free,
Will but strengthen and rivet the chain
Which binds me, my Saviour ! to thee.
Roll, thou ever-flowing tide ;
We, upon the billows driven,
O'er the mighty flood shall ride
To the peaceful port of heaven :
There no shipwreck strews the shore,
There no waves nor tempests roar.
Trim we then our little sail,
Calmly let us onward steer :
Blow, thou heaven-directing gale !
Ocean, waft the mariner !
See thy haven, see thy home ;
Come, thou weary traveller, come I
426 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Past but some few dark mountain billows more,
And we shall reach the ocean's further shore.
What though our barks a dreary course pursue,
We have the haven of our rest in view !
Then let the storms descend, the waters rise-—
Let jarring tempests combat in the skies ;
Let awful night her ebon pinions spread,
And wave her iow'ring sceptre o'er our head : —
How grateful soon the calm which ne'er shall cease !
How bright the visions of eternal peace !
There, on the brow of Heaven's eternal rock,
Escap'd the yawning gulf and tempest's shock,
O'er all the past our cheerful eye shall glance,
And former woes our present joys enhance :
In lofty songs we'll praise his sov'reign will,
Who to the raging deep said, i( Peace be still !"
Courage, my soul ! behold the prize
The Saviour's love provides ;
Eternal life, beyond the skies!
For all whom here he guides.
The wicked cease from troubling there,
The weary are at rest ;
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 427
Sorrow, and sin, and pain, and care,
No more approach the blest.
A wicked world, and wicked heart,
With Satan now are joined ;
Each acts a too successful part
In harassing my mind.
In conflict with this threefold troop.
How weary, Lord, am T!
Did not thy promise bear me up,
My soul must faint and die.
But fighting in my Saviour's strength,
Though mighty are my foes,
I shall a conqueror be at length
O'er all that can oppose.
Then why, my soul, complain or fear ?
The crown of glory see !
The more I toil and suffer here,
The sweeter rest will be.
Now," the angel cried, " as Moses
" Erst the brow of Pisgaii trod,
428 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
a See the scene yon mount discloses,
u See the city of our God l :>
There it lay, lay full before me; —
Such a vision who can paint?
Such infinitude of glory ! —
Fancy fails, and words are faint.
Jasper, there, and emerald gleaming,
Chrysolite and sapphire blaze ;
Battlements with rubies beaming,
Gates with amethystine rays !
Yet no temple rose before me,
Yet no glory shone above ; —
All was temple, all was glory,
All in all was God and love !
Lo, the stream of life, resplendent
More than clearest crystal flow'd,
Pouring blessedness transcendent
From the fount, the throne of God!
Lo, the tree of life ! it tiourish'd
Where that river fed its roots ;
E'en its leaves with healing nourished,
While it bore unnumberd fruits.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 429
There no more of sin-born curses :
With the Lord, and with the Lamb,
Face to face, each saint converses :
Every forehead bears his name.
M Come ! ye citizens invited!"
Let the Spirits call be heard :
(i Come!" the Saviour >s Bride, delighted,
Echoes round the gracious word.
" Come P — repeat it countless voices ; —
" All that thirst, yea all that will!
" Freely drink, whoe'er rejoices,
" From the fount of life, his fill !"
Desponding spirit rise
Above this mournful scene :
The land of promise lies
In regions yet unseen.
Haste ! Jesus calls thee near ;
He bids thy sorrows cease :
He dries the falling tear,
Inviting thee to peace.
430 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
Beyond those suns of night,
Far in the dark blue heaven,
Th ? inheritance of light
To thee, my soul, is given.
Nor distant is the hour
Of entering thine abode :
When messengers of power
Shall bear thee home to God.
Then bid this world farewell,
And speed thee on thy way,
With blessed souls to dwell
In everlasting day : —
To love, and joy, and rest,
Where toil, and wrath, and woe
No more shall pain thy breast,
Nor cause thy tears to flow.
The golden palace of my God,
Towering above the clouds, I see :
Beyond the cherub's bright abode,
Higher than angels thoughts can be.
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH. 431
How can I, in those courts appear,
Without a wedding-garment on ?
Conduct me, thou Life-giver there,
Conduct me to thy glorious throne !
And clothe me with thy robes of light,
And lead me through sin's darksome night,
My Saviour and my God !
Hushed is the world's wild strife! its din is o'er!
Time's last faint wave has rippled to the shore,
And all is peace. An Angel, as he flew,
A moment paus'd, the amazing change to view.
List'ning, he caught the expiring world's last sigh :
He saw the latest spark, that linger'd, die
Amidst its ashes. In unbroken rest,
A waveless ocean slumbers on the breast
Of timeless ages : and the innumerous host
Of sainted spirits, on the peaceful coast
Where angels dwell, their anchors bright have cast,
Their long desired haven reach'd at last :
No more to launch upon the gulf, and furl'd
Their snow-white sails. Forgotten is the world,
Its tempests and its woes: as from the mind
The griefs of childhood pass, long left behind ;
Or as the blooming glories of the spring,
O'er winter's darkling days, oblivion fling.
432 THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
But where, my soul ! and what shall be thy state,
When fixed unchangeably shall be thy fate ?
Where thy eternal home, when thro' the sky
This globe, unquenchably infiam'd, shall fly,
And plunge into the chaos, whence it sprung : —
Like a marr'd vestment to perdition flung?
Where ? — Thou shalt answer for me, O my God !
Thou, Saviour, who the path of death hast trod,
To open life to me. Beside thy cross,
Taught to esteem a fleeting world but loss,
In thee I glory ; and to thee intrust
My ransom'd spirit and my sleeping dust.
Before the throne, this, this my valid plea,
That thou hast all fulfilled and died for me.
And this thy faithful word, Atoning Lamb !
" My ransomed shall be with me where I am."
Enough for me in that assurance given,
For where my Saviour is, there, there is Heaven !
Now sleep, my strain !
Till, haply, wak'd by Raphael's golden lyre,
Where night, death, age, care, crime, and sorrow
To bear a part in everlasting lays.
Supreme delights, unceasing transports dwell . I
THE FIRST SABBATH.
And now on Earth the seventh ... 4
Now Heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled . 10
One lovely motive governed Adam then . . 8
Six days the Heavenly Host, in circle vast . 2
The high Creator had his six days works . . 5
The Primal Sabbath ! the Creator's rest • . 6
THE SABBATH EVE.
Our weeks, how quickly by they roll . .14
The week is past, the Sabbath dawn comes on . 13
Safely through another week . . . .12
Six days has man in duteous toil employM . 11
And did he rise? 23
Hail, Sabbath ! thee I hail the poor man's day . 23
How welcome to the saints, when pressM . 33
Long could not death in weak imprisoning bands 26
Lord ! I believe a rest remains . . .22
Lord of the Sabbath and its light ! . .32
O day most calm, most bright . . .IT
Our Sabbath has its work . . . .31
Return, thou wish'd and welcome guest . . 28
Sweet day of rest ! for thee IM wait . . 27
The Lord is risen indeed . . . .20
Types of eternal rest — fair buds of bliss . 24
What says the Prophet ? Let that day be blest , 22
When God from dust created man . . .15
THE SABBATH MORNING.
And is there no tall rock, whose shady cleft . 6T
Arise, arise, thou glorious Light ! . .44
But see ! in mild resplendent majesty . . 58
Dear is the hallow M morn to me . . .37
Early, my God, without delay . . .36
God of the morning ! Thou, the Sabbath's God 66
Hail ! holy day, of heav'n the certain pledge . 50
Hail morn ! more sacred than creation's light . 42
How broad the kindling sunbeam glows . 71
How cheering the thought, that the spirits in bliss 60
How still the morning of the hallowM day . 35
How sweet, in the musing of faith, to repair . 65
I have seen the young morn, with its struggling ray 57
It was a lovely morning; — all was calm . 52
Jesus! dear name of love! O Saviouk God! . 41
Like morning, when her early breeze . . 72
On thy beds of clover playing . . .47
See Nature gay, as when she first began . 56
See ! night has thinn'd her shades . . .54
See on Augusta's tall, ascending spires . . 49
Star of the morn, whose placid ray . . 55
Teach me thy love to know . . . .36
That star of the East never gladdened my sight . 56
The all-present eye 58
The Halcyon, brooding on the deep . . 73
The stars have sunk in yon concave blue . TO
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good . At
Tipp'd by the sun's emerging beams . . 05
Waked by thy sun, again my thoughts ascend . Gi
When first thy opening eyes receive . . 40
When man had sinned, and none might intervene 62
When morn's returning beams inspire ~ . .60
When streaming from the eastern skies . . 68
With silent awe T hail the sacred morn . . 39
Years have been lost ; up, stir thee to redeem . -51
THE SABBATH SERVICES.
Arise, my tend-'rest thoughts, arise
As one, in days of old, would fly
Blest, who, their strength on thee reclined
But what the pastoral lay-
Chased and wounded birds are we
Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish
Father of Mercies! we have need
Frequent the day of God returns
Give glory unto God on high
God in his temple let us meet . . .113
Hark, how the angels sing . 88
How did my heart rejoice to hear . . 9^
How honoured, how dear • . .97
How meet the service, when the solemn hour 102
How pleasant, how divinely fair ... 81
How sweet to leave the world awhile . 84
Lo, I am with you always to the end . .Ill
Lord, when we bend before thy throne . 96
My soul ! how lovely is the place ... 89
O Lord, our languid soul inspire . .110
Oh ! wilt thou dwell with men on earth . 93
Our souls with pleasing wonder view . 10-5
Saviour! when in dust to thee ... 85
Solemn the knell, from yonder ancient pile . 76
Sundays observe : think, when the bells do chime 80
Sweet is the day for worship set apart . 104
Sweet is the song of praise . • .108
The Preacher's merit rate not by thine ear . 10T
The solemn work is over — hear! the Priest . 114
Then, slowly rising suppliant, to heaven . 90
There's a refuge of peace from the tempests that
beat . . . 91
THE SABBATH FESTIVAL.
As the child of thy bounty, I come to be fed
Bread of Heav'n! on thee I feed
For guilt, not innocence, his life he pour'd
For thou didst die for me, oh Son of God
From Calvary a cry was heard
Hail day of days most welcome ! on thy morn
Here died the Saviour, and here die the sins
Tf human kindness meets return .
Let me dwell in Golgotha .
Never did Justice on her brow a frown
O come, thou wounded Lamb of God
O turn on yonder faded form your eyes
Oh! never, never canst thou know
Religion! thou the soul of happiness
Rock of Ages, cleft for me
The Cross . . , .
The Preacher's task is done — but wilt thou go
There is a sacred, hallowed spot
Thine is Redemption
This is the feast of heavenly wine
This is the light which shines from heav'n to
earth . . ...
Thou Jesus, canst my sins forgive
To man the bleeding cross has promised all
Touched by the cross we live, or more than die
Upon that night the Saviour blest
With joy, with grief, that healing hand I see .
Ye to Sion are invited ....
A world, miraculous like this, to make
Ah ! who would rashly quit the nest
Am I sole?
Amid my list of blessings infinite
And shall I fear
Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat
As panting in the sultry beam
Be still, my soul, and wait his hour
Blest ! who far from all mankind
Blest, who, by wing'd intercourse of faith
Celestial Visitant, herald of peace
Change me, O God ! my flesh shall be
Come, escape from the tempests of life
Come, Holy Spirit, calm my mind
Come not, O Lord ! in the dread robe of splendour 221
Come unto me, ye weary, come . . 220
Dear Book of God ! the charter of my hopes . 179
Delusive world, farewell . . .217
Do thou my thoughts control . . .182
Droop not, dejected convert, oft to feel . .188
Each fabled fount of comfort dry . . .213
Eternal God, our wandering souls . .195
Every thought should be directed . .146
Faith builds a bridge from this world to the next 166
Faith owns the mystery, and looking forth . 185
Far from the world, O Lord ! I flee . . 223
God is here — how sweet the sound . .157
God's presence lightens all our cares . . 223
Hail, silent fields ! with your inhabitant . 229
He was a man of sorrows — He . . 204
Here, in this solitude profound . . .191
Here I wait — a little while . . . 173
How happy are the new-born race . .184
How oft beneath his blest and healing wings . 165
How shall I follow him I serve ? . . 225
I was toss'd on the billows of life . . 224
Infinite God, thou great unrivallM one . 196
In the " cleft of the rock " when I lie . . 206
In thee I find wealth, comfort, virtue, might . 186
Jesus, I my cross have taken . . .201
Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend
Lo ! I come to thee, blest Lamb
Long plung'd in sorrow, I resign
Lord, I come to thee for rest
May the source of light .
My heart is easy, and my burden light
My stock lies dead, and no increase
None sends his arrow to the mark in view
Not only in thy temple, Lord
O days of Heaven, and nights of equal praise
O God, my heart within me faints
O happy day that fix'd my choice
Oh lovely solitude, how sweet
Oh ! Thou, who dry'st the mourner's tear
Oh thou whose mercy guides my way
Our rest be here, the Cross beneath
Peace has unveil'd her smiling face
Philosophers have measured mountains
Pilgrim burden'd with thy sin
Place me where winds and tempests reign
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire
Presence of God in spirit ! precious truth
Religion ! Providence ! an after state
Retire — to freer scenes retire
Retirement! thou celestial solacer
Return, my roving heart, return ,
Return, my soul, and seek thy rest
Rise then, my soul, thy comprehensive eye
Scripture is the only cure of woe
See Judah's promisM King:, bereft of all
Since first thy word awak'd my heart
Since life in sorrow must be spent
Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot
Sweet is the thought — time flies apace
The billows swell, the winds are high
The bird let loose in eastern skies
The Lord my Shepherd is . .
The Spirit breathes upon the word
The turf shall be my fragrant shrine
Then in a nobler, sweeter song
Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home
There's mercy in every place
Thou art my hope, Jehovah ; thou
Thou hidden love of God, whose height
Though glorious, O God ! must thy Temple have
Though sleepless nights and weary days
Through the skies when the thunder is hurled
'Tis I appoint thy daily lot
We walk by faith, not sense
Welcome, with humble joy His power
What various hindrances we meet
When gathering clouds around I view . . 205
When I can trust my all with God . . 221
When, in the hour of lonely woe . . 216
Whence came I ? Memory cannot say , . 165
Yes, in each portion of thine universe . J 76
THE SABBATH EVENING.
Ml welcome to thine earthly bed . . £40
And he is present still. He still shall bless . 240
Another day has passM along . . . 243
As when the silent Queen of Night . . 242
At evening, from the loneliness of crowds . £44
Believe, and look with triumph on the tomb . 2.50
Brother ! thou art gone before us . . . 236
Cease thy struggles, mortal life . . . 267
Christ watches o'er the embers . . . 254
Dear as thou wert, and justly dear . . 285
Death is the crown of life . ... 242
Death is the shadowy close of day to me . 276
Deathless principle, arise . .... 270
Kre yel the evening star, with silvery ray , 2-5-5
Evening, with a silent pace . . . 255
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death . 252
Fir'u at the prospect of unclouded bliss . 267
Hark ! on that sigh a soul hath risen to rest . 259
Hark ! 'tis the breeze of twilight, calling . 279
Haste, seize the proffered hope of heaven . 263
How calm is the summer sea wave . . 248
How joyous will that moment be . . 248
How sweetly parts the christian sun . . 285
I heard, from heaven crying . . . 269
Is there a time when moments flow . . 234
It happened on a solemn eventide . . , 239
I've watch'd the sea-bird calmly glide . 251
Let me think of that evening, the saddest, the
last . . 257
Life's a debtor to the grave . . . 243
Man lieth down, no more to wake . . 262
Mark where the wave, at eventide . . 256
No place inspires . . ... 235
Now, when the downward sun has left the glens 238
O thou God, who nearest prayer . . 280
Oft may the spirits of the dead descend . 251
Oh what a burst of mind shall glow . .241
One army of the living God . . . 286
One eye on death, and one full fix'd oil heaven 279
Parting soul! the flood awaits thee . .261
Sweet hour ! it seems the Sabbath's own repose 231
Sweet is the light of Sabbath Eve . . 263
Sweetly sail the twilight shadows . . 275
Thanks be to God, who giveth evermore . 268
That awful hour will soon appear . . . 246
The cheerful supper done, with serious face . 231
The clouds, that had mantled the dark sky all
day . 274
The light of Sabbath Eve . ... 244
The Sabbath of the tomb . ... 335
The setting sun, in robes of crimson red . 264
The sun parts faintly from the wave . . 250
Then start not at its transient gloom . . 253
There is a beam upon the hill . . . 273
There is a calm for those that weep . . 283
There is a spot of earth .... 254
Through sorrow's night, and danger's path . 245
'Tis sweet, in journeying through this vale of
tears . 258
Welcome the hour of sweet repose . . 270
What are thine hopes, Humanity . . 276
When at the limits of my final stage . . 287
When day,. with farewell beam, delays . * 272
When mortals weep a creature dead . . 284
When the spark of life is waning . . . 282
When the vale of death appears . 281
THE SABBATH NIGHT.
A glance from heav'n with sweet effect . 293
A holy stillness fills the sky . . .301
Along yon glittering sky what glory streams . 303
Amid the hurry, toil, and strife . . . 307
And now the moon . . . .312
And see, day's amiable sister sends . . 313
And was the ransom paid? It was; and paid 317
As wakeful on my couch I lie . . . 292
Blessed be thy name for ever . . . 297
By day the soul, o'erborne by life's career . 320
Dark river of death ! thou art flowing . .321
Darkness overspreads us here . . . 292
Father Divine! thy piercing eye . . 300
Hasten, O Lord, that happy time . . . 318
How shall I praise thee, Lord of light ? . 294
I see, I see the glorious goal . . . 333
In a land of strange delight . . .310
Know'st thou the value of a soul immortal . 326
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth . 306
My lot is in thy hand — the night, the day . 334
Night! how I love thy silent shades . . 328
No rainbow colours here, or silken tale . 327
Now hear my prayer . ... 330
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe . 297
O may the grave become to me . . .291
O majestic night . ... 323
O Night! how beautiful thy golden dress . 302
O Night ! propitious to my views . . 304
One sun by day, by night ten thousand shiue . 331
Peace 'neath the stars may fix her seat . 298
Season of my purest pleasure . . . 326
Sleep at last has fled these eyes . . .314
So rolls the varying day — and morn and noon . 334
Tell me, ye shining hosts . ... 289
The day is over ; it is night, dark night! . 290
There is a spirit o'er creation spread . . 332
These tutelary shades . ... 329
Thou, who didst put to flight . . . 312
Though sunless, moonless, starless seem . 310
Thus Jacob, curtainM by the dark blue sky . 313
'Tis solemn gloom, toilM nature's grateful hour 329
What though my frail eyelids refuse . . 323
When in the darkness, deep and dull . . 293
When marshall'd on the nightly plain . . 288
When night, with wings of starry gloom . 302
When the voice of the Bridegroom shall startle
the ear . . . . .291
Without my God, how dark meridian light . 333
Ye citadels of light . . . .314
THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH.
A voice from the desert comes awful and shrill 351
Ah! reign, wherever man is found . . 350
And now the anthem swells .... 360
As o'er the budding landscape roves the eye . 351
Be hush'd the prostrate world . . . 356
Break forth, ye mountains, into joyful song . 364
But who shall see the glorious day . . 363
Hark ! through the desert wilds what awful voice 357
He comes ! He comes ! the groans of Babylon 359
It seems, as if the summer sky . . , 345
" Let there be light !" — thus spake the Word . 35S
Muse! take the harp of prophecy: behold! , 335
Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem rise . 336
Sing to the Lord! no more the angels fly . 352
The groans of Nature in this nether world . 33S
Then it burst, the glorious view . . 355
Unlike the summer of the frigid zone . . 361
When my sad heart surveys the pain . . 354
Who would not be a Christian ! Who but now 349
Yes, Salem ! thou shalt rise . . . 33T
THE CELESTIAL SABBATH.
All that till now their rapt researches knew . 382
And He who cried to Lazarus, Come forth . 384
And where a Father is, there is a home . 384
As some lone captive, on a foreign shore . 410
As when the weary traveler gains . . 422
But he, whose presence fills existence, hides . 404
Come, Lord, and warm each languid heart . 419
Courage, my soul ! behold the prize . . 426
Daughter of Faith ! awake, arise! illume . 383
Desponding spirit, rise . ... 429
Each golden harp . . . . .418
Enihron'd upon a bill of light . . . 367
Every moment's calm that soothes the breast . 40T
Fair emblem of a better rest . . .381
Faith lifts the soul above this little ball . .381
Full on my wondering eye, yon brighter world 409
Hail ! heavenly scenes of peace . . . 3T8
Hallelujah ! Lord our God . . . 378
Has one seventh portion more of measured time 387
" He sleeps in Jesus \" — Hark the Bridegroom's
voice . . . . 393
He, who is my hope of heaven below . . 386
Hear I, or dream I hear, their distant strain . 365
Hope with uplifted foot, set free from earth . 418
Hush'd is the world's wild strife! its din is o'er
I love to think of heav'n, where I shall meet .
If God hath made this world so fair
If Nature smiles, e'en here below
Immortal ! Ages past, yet nothing gone .
In vain the fancy strives to paint
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed .
Look up, my soul ! pant toward the eternal hills
Lord ! I believe thou ha«t prepar' 1
Lord of the Sabbath ! hear our vows
Now sleep, my strain . ...
H Now," the angel cried, <( as Moses
O had I the wings of a dove
O what remains?— a throne ! a crown
O ye blest scenes of permanent delight
Oh, glorious hour, it comes with speed
Oh ! the hour when this material
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flow'rets
Parting soul! the flood awaits thee
Past but some few dark mountain billows more
River of Life ! through heavenly vales
Roll, thou ever-flowing tide
The day is broke, which never more shall close 365
The golden palace of rny God . . . 430
The people of the Lord . . . 402
Their golden harps they tcok
Then who with acceptance shall stand
There is a land where everlasting suns
There is an hour of peaceful rest
There is a Paradise that fears
There is a pure and peaceful wave
There is a river pure and bright .
There shall I bathe my weary soul
To Jesus, the crown of my hope
To take a glimpse within the veil
We seek a rest beyond the skies
What a blessedness
What joy, while thus I view the day
When musing Sorrow weeps the past
When the pale moon to blood shall turn
Who are they, clothed in radiant while
Wrapt in thought of immortality
Ye Angels, who stand round the throne
Ye, as within the veil, drink all the beams
Ye golden lamps of heav'n, farewell
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
W. RICHARDSON, PRINTER, CLARE STKEET.